Let’s face it. Pakistan isn’t exactly at the cutting edge of communications and most businesses still maintain a death grip on legacy systems. I am currently heading a project that entails reaching out to, engaging and inducting rural farmers. In my role as Communications lead, I identified a total of 8 different “channels”, namely the farmers, sector stakeholders, government departments, service providers and vendors, news and media, project field staff, organisational higher management and, finally, donors. Each of these channels had completely different, and often conflicting, communications requirements. It wasn’t until I started assessing the needs of this multi-tiered, multi-channel correspondence regime that it struck me – as someone who had, largely, dealt with urban businesses and organisations – that this was a fascinating and completely new challenge for me. It highlighted, for me, how undervalued real world interaction and communication is for urban businesses. One simply can’t beat the convenience and speed of an email exchange but if you want lasting professional relationships there is no real substitute for an honest face to face. Having a casual chat with a colleague at the start of the day or over lunch, sitting with a client over tea, discussing new opportunities with partners over dinner, talking to staff members at organisational events and functions… the list of possibilities to choose from is endless. I will write more on this in the coming weeks but I wanted to share some important rules, I’ve set for myself and my internet-based internal communications systems designs, with all of you. I’ve seen organisations break down into utter chaos because employers or higher management didn’t know how to treat employees or employees who couldn’t internalise organisational expectations. And, most of the time, it is just a matter of ill-constructed internal communications regimes. How you position and speak with your workers and how they react to challenges can decide how little or how fast your organisation grows. Clear, open channels of correspondence encourage devotion and a pledge to employment execution awesomeness. 🙂 But how do you do it? Here are a few things I’ve learned over the course of my career. Build a “Regime” A good communications system begins with an effectively thought out technique. Simply put, if you don’t have a procedural system in place, your execution will be haphazard, ineffective and will thoroughly paralyze the organisation’s capacity to formulate or achieve ‘the big picture’. Keep it Simple With little time to decipher obscure internal communications, all memos and notifications shared with workers ought to be clear and straightforward. Remember: it isn’t an essay competition or a test of your verbosity. Don’t just communicate, create a ‘call to action’. Such a message creates a positive “pull” and expresses how the administration desires workers to react to the shared data or information. Messages ought to advance open correspondence amongst administration and staff by concentrating on the sort of business data that energises enhanced execution and the effective determination and/or completion of corporate goals. It is never a One-way Street Successfully integrated corporate groups depend on open internal communications. A good implementation regime gives workers access to administrators and senior management through an intranet or comparable internal correspondence framework or through month to month, casual gatherings. Developing an open communications system obliges the higher management to listen to what their workers think and feel. Opening an inside discourse cultivates a situation in which both senior management and workers trust each other. In this way, workers are more open to accepting communications and rules and changing their conduct to comply. Everybody hates Mass-mails With the emergence of robust and responsive forms of correspondence and online networking regimes, workers and management now can trade constant business messages easily. But, truth be told, this can prove to be a double-edged sword. We, as human beings constantly exposed to email advertisements, are almost programmed to ignore ‘mass emails’. Therefore, constraining the use of mass email is an important part of any communications methodology. Reminders should, ideally, not be sent more than once a day or a couple of times a week. A conservative approach, in this regard, guarantees that the messages you do send achieve the best possible organisational attention. Incorporate and Improve Measurability An extensive internal communications methodology requires the utilisation of execution measurements to decide the impact of action and, thus, communication. These measurements ought to viably gauge how effectively and efficiently workers are accomplishing business aims. On the off chance that the execution result stays unaltered, a fallback strategy ought to be considered to enhance representative comprehension, engagement, and execution. Go Back to the Basics For all the good that email and internet correspondence does, there is simply no substitute for the ever-humble Noticeboard. But, in Pakistan, an overwhelming majority of noticeboards are cluttered and messy. In most cases, where a particular notification message ends up on the board is dictated by ‘where there is space’. This results in important messages being missed due to a confusing and preposterous display system. Treat your noticeboards with respect. They are one of the most time-tested methods of reaching out to your employees and colleagues in the real world. These showcases can be utilised for news items, essential strategy changes, preparing materials and ongoing execution measurements. By putting screens in noticeable areas, your representatives stay educated and connected with all through the workday. Break down the walls A healthy and transparent exchange amongst colleagues, staff and management builds up horizontal and vertical cooperative energy corridors. Be open to what people say and unless you are extremely taxed for time, take some out to meet and talk to colleagues. Open door policies are the best but if you aren’t comfortable with that don’t make people wait long for appointments. Thank you for taking the time out from your busy schedules to read this post. No one, intentionally, wants to miscommunicate with their peers, clients or partners. It takes years to learn how to gauge and design communications strategies so that you don’t ever have to hear those four dreaded words: “What’s he talking about?” I hope that these strategies will serve you as much as they have served me and the organisations I have had the pleasure to work for and I wish your venture success upon success. Want advice? Stuck in a communications or business development quagmire? Or just want to say hi. Mobeen A. Chughtai is a Communications Specialist with over 11 years of experience in the trade after finishing his training as a Political Economist at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He has experience handling both ends of the communications chain, having worked as the business reporting lead for Punjab numerous media outlets including Dawn News and as a corporate and development sector Communications for Business Development professional and consultant.