Does the ROI of Internal Communications in Business Differ from Academia?

statistic high cost of communication barriers in organizations

As a business leader, how do you measure the impact of your internal communications? Does it differ from the way an educational leader measures the impact of internal communications in schools? I was asked to address this question in a presentation to a progressive international school in Germany earlier this year, so I’d appreciate your insights on the comparisons.

On the business side, a group called People Driven Performance conducted research on the costs of poor internal communications in 2009 that still has applicability today. They report that good internal communications has a positive impact and poor internal communications has a negative impact on five elements of a company’s ROI:

  1. Engagement
    Every employee that crosses over from being disengaged to engaged adds an incremental $13,000 to the bottom line each year
  2. Direct Cost of Miscommunication
    $26,041 is the cumulative cost per worker per year due to productivity losses resulting from communications barriers
  3. Opportunity Cost
    A business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communication, which translates to an annual cost of $528,443
  4. Safety
    The average cost of a safety incident for an engaged employee is $63, compared with $392 average cost of a safety incident for an unengaged employee
  5. Turnover
    Employees with the highest level of commitment perform 20% better & are 87% less likely to leave the organization

If you’re in education or academia, what is your impression? Does poor internal communication in schools have a similarly negative impact?

Whether you’re an educator or business leader, contact us if you’re interested in improving your internal communications impact and your organization’s ROI along with it. Ask, assess then act. We’re here to help!

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The Ins and Outs of Communication in 2013

Silence signStill using business jargon? That’s so last year! (Don’t miss the taboo words and phrases covered in my recent post The Most Annoying Words and Phrases of 2012 as well as the earlier post 50 Tired Management Buzzwords and Communication Killers.)

As a thought leader, it’s crucial that you communicate meaning clearly and concisely. But communicating well often means not saying something.

It may mean listening more instead of talking. Particularly during negotiations, silence is golden.

It may mean slowing down the rhythm of communication and saying less before it’s time to say more or make a big announcement. You’ll likely get more attention if there’s a quiet before the storm.

Two recent, noteworthy articles posted in my Thought Leader ScoopIt e-zine focus on the good communication habit of saying nothing. The first article, 10 Communication Practices to Stop, talks about what’s in and what’s out in communications practices in 2013. The second article, Communication’s Biggest Secret: Knowing When To Keep Your Mouth Closed, discusses the surprisingly smart strategy of silence.

Resolve to improve your communications style in 2013! Are you willing to learn something new in the new year? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

Photo: by Rev Stan on Flickr

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The Most Annoying Words and Phrases of 2012: Do You, Like, Wanna Comment? Whatever…

Poison warning sign using annoying terms and languageOne of the most popular blogs on this site in 2012 was this post on avoiding buzz words and jargon in business communication. That’s why I thought I’d launch 2013 with a year-end wrapup of what researchers say are the most annoying terms of 2012 and then ask you to add yours to the list.

The researchers from the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York,  questioned 1,246 U.S. adults in a Nationwide telephone survey. They learned that ”whatever” is, for the fourth consecutive year, the most annoying word for 32% of respondents and that 21% just don’t like ”like.” Runners-up for the most grating terms are ”you know” and ”just sayin’,” followed by “Twitterverse” and “gotcha’.”

Those words irk many people in casual conversation; but according to a recent article in PR News online,  if you particularly want to annoy journalists, add the following terms to your new releases:

  1. Engagement
  2. Fastest-growing
  3. High-performance
  4. Incredible
  5. Leading
  6. Powerful
  7. Solutions
  8. Unparalleled
  9. Utilize
  10. “We are excited…” quote about product/service/executive appointment/whatever

Highway exit sign illustrating annoying business buzzwordsDo you have any additional words to add to these lists of repellant rhetorical choices? Share them with others in the comments below or by contacting us here.

Is your business communication conversational yet cliche-free? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

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Management Coach vs. Message Coach

choosing the right message

A communications coach helps leaders clarify their message and focus messaging strategy.
Illustration by

One question I’m asked frequently is how does what I normally do differ from what a traditional management coach does. It’s difficult to explain because a management coach and a communications coach actually are similar.

Both types of coaches help managers lead better, so I would certainly call myself a management coach. We both help CEOs and senior leaders clarify and then make choices.

But my unique service offering is that of being a so-called message coach. I channel rather than challenge management choices leaders make, and then I in turn challenge the leaders’ choices for communicating such decisions.

In other words, a communications coach helps leaders choose the right strategies, tactics and approaches for communicating their management choices. These types of message coaches not only help leaders choreograph their communication choices, they also help craft the best messages for a particular situation and audience.

Communicating well up, down and sideways in an organization, as well as communicating appropriately to a wide range of external audiences, requires making the right choices for the immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term horizons.

Are you at an inflection point in your career and getting ready to make some management choices? Are you prepared to make the right communications choices at the same time? Ask, assess, then act. We’re here to help!

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