Lessons Learned about Workplace Communications – Part V – Simplicity

Lesson #5 – Spoon fed simplicity -just answer “but really, how do I…”

As I wrap up these lessons, this one seems like a no brainer, something that shouldn’t even deserve its own blog post. But it does, because simple isn’t always easy.

When we think about change, we know that it can be super difficult. As I was reflecting on how certain industries create change, real change for people, I felt like there was this “spoon fed” simplicity about it.

What I mean is that honestly people want to be spoon fed. Most people prefer it and they’ve learned it throughout their schooling. I remember when I gave one of my new hire groups an open ended project and I got stares because I didn’t give them the exact criteria on which they would be evaluated. And sometimes that’s how life is, you don’t always know the customers expectations of you and your service, but you could probably give a really good guess, use some reasoning from your previous experiences and go from there.

Back to the simplicity.

When I see people sign up to be part of a fitness group, or weight loss program, what I see is spoon fed simplicity within these programs. And there is reason for this! The fact is the hardest part could be showing up. But the fitness coach has provided equipment, checklists, meal plans, grocery lists, community support, goals, competitions, progress reports, 1:1 coaching and other learning opportunities. The fact is everything is laid out to lose the weight. Or to get fit. Or whatever the goal is. Missing piece is you. You have to show up and put in the work. Showing up is 90% of the change. But instead of spending time spinning your wheels on a healthy meal plan for your new lifestyle change, you take the meal plans and grocery list and get to work. You take the advice and the framework laid out and you start one foot at a time.

How could we take a lesson from other industries like this, and apply it to our workplace communication and technology? And how it applies to the changes we expect in people?

All of the facets that go into someone losing weight and choosing a healthy lifestyle, help us pull together motivations and templates we could use as a framework.

Examples could include:

  • Daily, Monthly, Quarterly checklist for leaders, managers and employees
  • Specific goals for individuals
  • Progress reports of the health of the community 60, 90 days out
  • Support groups based on topic, geographic location, stage in career
  • Mentorship or reverse mentorship opportunities
  • Competitions between teams or departments

 

Finally, I think the thing that always tugs on my heart is the transformation that people go through inside and out. The before and after pictures, the proof that change is possible. I’m always crying like a baby when I watch TV shows like Fixer Upper or Biggest Loser and they have the big reveal. They showed up day and after day making small changes, checking things off, making better or different choices. Its not usually an “overnight” transformation for these people or the homes. We should not expect an overnight success of our employees or leaders for their “after” pictures and changes.

What could that look like in your own organization?  The “Before” is still an important part of the story, but your organization’s”After” could have an impact for generations to come.

Sometimes its a simple step forward to make a big impact.

 

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