Improving workplace communication is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
Strong workplace communication can increase revenue, build a strong company culture, and hold on to top talent during The Great Resignation. But, on the flip side, improper or poor workplace communication practices cost businesses an estimated $1.2 trillion annually.
The loss of profits is not the only downside to ineffective communication:
- Poor workplace communication leads to higher attrition and low employee morale.
- The Great Resignation is draining workplaces of talent.
- Research predicts turnover will increase by 20% in the next year.
- Improving workplace communication is one strategy for responding to these predictions.
Here are a few things to consider.
Closing Communication Gaps
There are at least 1.2 trillion reasons why businesses should close communication gaps. With some work, leaders can improve communication, keeping employees happy while saving companies money and helping them to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Here are a few ways leaders can help their teams to close communication gaps effectively.
Assess your current communication strategy
Before testing out new ideas, take the time to assess your current communication strategy so you can identify strengths and weaknesses.
Ask yourself what types of communication tools your organization uses. Write a list and be honest about the pros and cons. Then, gather feedback from employees on what works best for them.
Examining your current strategy will inform new approaches. Make a plan for how you will measure the success of your revised communication standards so you can continue to evaluate how things are going.
Orient employees to sticky information
Every business has its own “sticky information” set, like internal knowledge, practices, biases, and company language. It takes time to learn these things. It can be frustrating to employees if they don’t have management support to get up to speed.
Orient employees to the unique details of company culture during onboarding and then reinforce this with continued training. Create internal documents to reference business methods and processes and make these accessible to employees.
The faster employees know the company’s methods and culture, the quicker they can confidently participate in internal communications.
Be clear about objectives and tasks
Poor communication creates uncertainty and confusion. Employees without clear guidelines from management lack the focus, drive, and confidence of those with defined work responsibilities.
Your team’s ability to collaborate will also suffer if they are out of sync with management or each other. Teams that lack direction fall behind in hitting project deadlines. That will trigger a domino effect of more unmet goals.
Your team will be more successful when they know what tasks they need to complete and when. A great way to keep your teams up-to-date and informed is to hold effective meetings (note the emphasis on “effective”). Always approach meetings with a clear and consistent agenda. Set parameters for time, topics, and goals and stick to them.
Give your employees the meeting agenda in advance so they can have some lead time to think about how to contribute and what questions they have. Then, at the end of the meeting, confirm that your team knows what short and long-term goals to focus on by sending out brief meeting notes and reminders.
Foster open communication and feedback
It’s important to provide employees with consistent feedback. Check-in with your team regularly to let them know what is going well and where they can improve. Managers who offer actionable feedback show they care about the success and well-being of their employees
Communication is a two-way street. Managers should make it a habit to get feedback from employees. This two-way feedback fosters trust and transparency in the workplace, which goes a long way in building strong internal communication.
Encourage dialogue by inviting honest input and showing your appreciation. Work engagement and loyalty increase when employees have a strong relationship with their supervisors and feel valued for their input.
Use technology the right way
There are many digital tools available that aid teams in communicating quickly and efficiently. However, just because the tool is there doesn’t mean it’s the best option.
Let’s take email. It’s a godsend of quick, instantaneous information. Yet, people are so inundated with emails that they experience “email anxiety” at the thought of opening their inboxes.
Fortunately, there are many apps available that help employees organize and prioritize information in the workplace, including inboxes. These apps manage distractions, enhance focus, and maintain employee peace of mind.
Consider your audience
Whether your team is in the office, hybrid, or remote, digital communication over messaging apps, chats, and email is a standard feature of today’s workplace.
While these tools allow for speedy communication throughout the day, they are also fraught with problems conveying tone or adding a human touch. For example, a manager might intend to send a helpful note, but it’s interpreted as micro-managing and cold.
Avoid these communication misfires by thinking of your audience when you send a message to your team. Before you hit send, take a moment to imagine reading the message from the receiver’s perspective. Ask yourself how you would feel and then decide if some revisions are warranted.
When a message is received as intended, it’s easier to close communication gaps.
A final thought about workplace communication: leaders willing to be themselves in front of their teams are at the heart of successful communication. These leaders admit to mistakes, value honesty, and don’t feel the need to take charge of every conversation or own every idea.
Authoritarian leaders risk increasing communication gaps rather than closing them. Conversely, an authentic leader inspires employees to be more comfortable stepping up to contribute.
When you examine communication at your workplace, reflect on your communication practices as a leader. Take ownership of what you’re doing well and where you could improve.
Employees spend almost half of a 40-hour work week involved in communication, whether it’s reading emails, writing messages, or attending meetings. That’s a lot of time for things to go wrong — or right. You can ensure more things go well by taking a proactive and purposeful approach to improving workplace communication.
This approach will take time.
Building a culture of thriving communication is a long-term process involving trial and error, but it’s well worth it. Following the guidelines outlined here makes it possible to close communication gaps and see business revenue rise.
But, more importantly, you will nurture a more positive and efficient company culture for everyone.
Helping Affiliates Create Satisfactory Long-Form Content
Affiliates are important to have, if you own a business (brick-and-mortar or online). Nowadays, in the online realm, you and your business will need all the publicity that you can get. That’s where affiliates come in!
With affiliates, you’ll be able to spread the word further about your product or service. One of the best ways to go further with affiliates is to have them produce long-form content. Long-form content can come in various forms, including online guides and eBooks.
Long-form content can be great work for affiliates, while it can be a gold mine for businesses. So, if you’re not taking advantage of long-form content, then now is the time to do so! Good news! You’re in luck!
In this guide, you’ll learn about long-form content, why it’s beneficial to your business, and how you can help your affiliates create satisfactory content in this form. Let’s dive right in!
Long- Vs Short-Form
“Search engines like Google seem to favor long-form content rather than short-form,” says Jorge Marcos, a tech blogger at Assignment Writing Service and PhD Thesis Writers. “With long-form content, you’ll have more keywords that will do well in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. With more SEO in your content, you’ll be ranked higher in search results. This, in turn, allows people to get to your site right away without having to search for you for too long.”
Plus, long-form content allows you to expand on your authoritative status when it comes to a niche. More educational value and in-depth discussions means more SEO, thus helping you establish yourself as an authority in your chosen niche.
As for the format, there are many styles that you can incorporate. How you want long-form content to look like will depend on your business and niche. Just keep in mind: How you format your content will also need to be adaptable to a particular market.
Here are some formats to consider, if you and your affiliates need ideas:
- Blog articles are great content to create at any time of the year.
- A guide or brochure is perfect for describing products, services, etc. They can also incorporate visuals like images, videos, etc. Users can download this content, if you’d like.
- An end-of-year review
- The launch of a product/service
- Monthly updates (i.e. newsletters that users can subscribe to)
- White paper content
- E-books, etc.
Again, how you format your long-form content is up to you. As you figure out the format, you’ll need to communicate said format to your affiliates.
Understand that creating long-form content takes time. In fact, creating this type of content requires the following from affiliates:
- Rough drafts
- Gaining feedback
- Revising and editing (more than once)
- Gaining more feedback
- Producing a final draft
- Getting the greenlight on the draft, AND THEN
So, be sure that you give your affiliates plenty of time to produce great long-form content.
How It’s Successful
Long-form content can make businesses successful in their endeavors in the following ways:
This type of content is flexible. In other words, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Businesses can think outside of the box, and create the content that they want.
This type of content can either be offered in full, or be piecemealed in order to get consumers to invest in it further.
This type of content can be viewable on desktop, mobile, etc. Now, if you plan on making content viewable on mobile, then you’ll need to make the format mobile-friendly.
As you think of these prospects, you’ll need to communicate them to your affiliates, because they’re the ones that will make the content on your behalf.
Ensuring That Affiliates Produce What’s Needed
“It’s important to make sure that your affiliates have what they need when producing content for you,” says Martha Winston, a marketing writer at Coursework Service and Essay Services. “Help your affiliates as much as possible, when working with them. You can help them by giving them then information needed to succeed in their venture. Don’t just offer a title or a simple idea; show them headlines from research, along with guidelines of what long-form content should look like. You can even offer them examples of what the long-form content should be, like an interesting long-form article from the web. How they write a long-form article is more important that what they’ll write.”
What You Need
When it comes to long-form content, there are many things that affiliates will need to implement to make it a success. Some of the things needed for long-form content include:
- Imagery (i.e., graphics, images, videos, etc.)
- Your company logo
- Snapshot of product, etc.
These elements will help affiliates focus on other things, rather than be solely focused on the written word. This is especially helpful in combating writer’s block, because too often, writers – including affiliates – struggle with producing written content on the fly. So, why not break the monotony by having them focus on the “fun stuff,” while creating long-form content?
Rules To Follow
So, now that you know how successful long-form content is, and what’s required from both you and your affiliates, it’s time to look at the guidelines for making great content in this fashion.
Since you know your brand better than anyone else, you’ll need to set some ground rules for your affiliates to follow when they’re creating long-form content for you. So, here are things to consider when creating your guidelines:
- Word count
- Writing style
- Images (if needed), etc.
By having guidelines in place, not only will you have a guide for the content that you expect from affiliates, but your affiliates will have a roadmap on what they’re expected to create.
So, there you have it!
Long-form content can do wonders for your business. However, in order for your content to work, you’ll need to make sure that your affiliates are on the same page when it comes to said content. Think about what you want in your content: the topic, the formatting, any imagery if you wish, and so on.
We hope that this guide will help you help your affiliates create satisfactory long-form content.
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