What happened when managers didn’t communicate?
- Productivity dropped 75% from 4.8 hours/day to 1.2 hours/day
- Social chat and gossip increased more than 100% from 1.5 hours/day to 3.2 hours/day
Shocking, isn’t it?
But hold on to your hat…
Those are stats from a 1997 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
20 Years Ago!
The study showed there was a direct consequence on workplace behavior due to organizational change, whether it was
- A changing market
- Change in leadership
- Or – drum roll, please: a series of bad decisions.
Now remember, this was long before Twitter, before Facebook, before instant messaging and texting. Now, news of pending downsizings or changes in leadership hit the rumor mill faster than you can say “Fake News!” It only takes 140 characters to start the virtual water-cooler humming and productivity and morale plummeting.
The prevailing uncertainty, skepticism and cynicism in workplaces today means that concentrated productive time is probably about 10 – 15 minutes before the next tweet or Facebook message.
So what’s a manager to do?
Leadership teams need to help managers be proactive informing employees of changes. One way is to have prepared message points about organizational news that will help managers communicate information consistently and on a timely basis. For smaller organizations, an all-employee meeting may be a good choice.
Next time you think that information only needs to be communicated on a “need-to-know” basis, think again. That decision could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
What are some other ways to communicate important information to employees before it goes viral? Please write your comments on this blog for others to learn from it as well.
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a catalyst for change. She speaks, writes and consults on how leaders can create a collaborative vision for the future and put the action steps in place that are empowering, regenerating and sustainable. It’s time to Be the Change. Call Marty today: 858-432-6764 or 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org
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