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How to close the Workplace Communication Gaps Effectively

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How to close the Workplace Communication Gaps Effectively

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.

Be authentic

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.

Key Takeaway

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.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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