Employee communication

If Not Training, Then What?

There’s a lot to be said for training; it certainly has solidified its place in corporate culture as a means of addressing issues, teaching skills and strategies and getting employees aligned, motivated and on track for great success.

But there are times when training isn’t the answer – when the situation calls for a different approach.

As a case in point, a client called several years ago asking to revise and update a training program we had developed in 2006. A short discussion, however, revealed issues that pointed to a different solution. The client didn’t have a training need, they had a communication need.

Rather than update the current training, together with the client we decided to develop two high-impact communication pieces:

  • The first piece, a telestration, served as the ideal medium for communicating exactly what leadership wanted employees to know in a very engaging and visually stimulating way. Being just a few minutes in length drove high levels of viewership.
  • The second piece we developed was a powerful Blueline infographic that served to refresh the target audience on the overall process they’d been trained on by graphically displaying key inputs, process steps and decision points. This engaging one-page visual then became a just-in-time ready-reference job aide.

Sharing graphic elements between the telestration and the infographic enabled us to drive adoption through consistent branding while keeping costs down. The solution met the goal without one minute of training.

One of the many frameworks Blueline Simulations uses to explore how to best help clients solve their business challenges is BKD (Believe-Know-Do). We start with what you want your target audience to be able to Do. Then we explore what they need to Know in order to Do that effectively. And finally, we pinpoint what they need to Believe to be motivated to Do it.

know-do-believe

I invite you to contact us to learn more about any of our custom classroom simulations, Blueline Blueprint™ learning visuals or other innovative delivery methods that have been generating notable business results in leading organizations worldwide for more than 13 years.

Mapping It Out: Helping Employees See the Big Picture

As a leader, it’s a good bet that you understand the power of showing vs. telling when it comes to communicating complex messages to your employees.

Time and again, our clients are amazed at how their complex messages can be rendered with clarity and emotional engagement in a simple graphical approach.Communicating important information verbally or in writing can be confusing and leaves the door wide open for interpretation. The mind’s eye is often quick to interpret what it understands the message to be – right, wrong or somewhere in-between. And once employees start talking, misinformation can spread like wildfire.

So how do you take the reins and ensure all of your employees receive, understand and see their role in your organization’s most important messages? You use a Blueline Simulations Journey Map.

Our Journey Maps use visuals, narratives and metaphors to engage employees in a highly participative way. They’re a proven, powerful tool for:

  • Providing an easy-to-grasp overview of robust and complex messages
  • Creating a narrative around organizational issues that allows readers to instantly see their role in the big picture
  • Engaging readers at both a rational and an emotional level – so they don’t just understand the urgency, but they actually feel it

A Journey Map Explained

A Journey Map is a small graphic, rich in both quantitative and metaphorical/narrative data. The standard tabloid-size 11×17 document is meant for “individual consumption” and is not to be confused with our Blueline Blueprint.

In addition to being “visual,” the Journey Map also is “narrative,” meaning that it enables readers to not only connect with individual messages, but also to better understand those messages in the context of how they relate to one another.

One of our clients successfully used a Journey Map to rebuild its employee onboarding process. The grand story about possibility, change, a shared vision and aspirations of the new hire – a story typically told in a series of lifeless bullet points – all came together in an efficient, effective, powerful story.

The Journey Map connected all the dots: New hires were able to quickly “find themselves” in the visual, while organizational leaders placed their progress in the context of a broader goal. This solution contributed to a best-in-class onboarding solution that is now regarded as one of the best in the country.

Similarly, another client was introducing culture change with dramatic implications for how associates interacted with customers. By presenting the change in narrative format, associates were able to reflect on their own roles within the initiative and recognize how their goals were aligned with the goals of the organization. The reaction was a stark contrast to the “defensive” response leaders were expecting.

Time and again, our clients are amazed at how their complex messages can be rendered with clarity and emotional engagement in a simple graphical approach. We welcome the opportunity to amaze you, too. In addition to Journey Maps, we also have ideas for couching your message in a narrative context for employee handbooks, investor communications and more.

Contact us today!