Dare to be great - Towers Watson’s challenge to cowardly communicators

Today I read a really interesting report by Towers Watson. Following 10 years’ of research, the authors demonstrate conclusively the huge Return On Investment (“ROI”) that can be generated through effective change and communication initiatives. According to Towers Watson, companies that are highly effective at both communication and change management are three and a half times more likely to financially outperform their peers than companies that are not highly effective at either. Building a shared experience helps deepen ties with employees and particularly employees who have flexible schedules, spend most of their time on the road or work offsite. Only 56% of employers reported using social tools to communicate with employees on topics such as culture, team building or innovation. But the more employers used these tools, the more adept they became at creating a better sense of community across their organisation. 70% of participants agreed that social business tools for work have a positive impact on their employees’ productivity and organisation (industries included Energy, Financial Services, General Services, Healthcare, IT & Telecom, Manufacturing, Public Sector and Education + Retail/Wholesale).

What stuck out most when reading this report was Towers Watson’s finding of a “lack of courage” amongst participants - the courage to try new approaches, to challenge ourselves, to step out of our comfort zone and, of course, to measure progress and admit when things aren't working. Towers Watson point out that this lack of courage is holding us back precisely at the time when the data and tools necessary to leap forward are becoming widely available and affordable.

The authors don’t go deeply into the causes of this alleged lack of courage within organisations, but based on experience I suspect it’s a combination of institutional inertia (particularly the unwillingness to invest time learning about new IT solutions beyond traditional office software and employee portals) and a fear that transparent communications may create new opportunities for corporate embarrassment. It seems to me the big question for modern communications leaders is whether these potential risks are worth taking in pursuit of a deeper understanding of critical employee groups and the culture needed to deliver on company strategy. Towers Watson seem to think so - and I do too.

Do you agree with Towers Watson’s analysis? I would love to hear your feedback -chris@yapster.info

Please also check out our customer success page for an example of the progress we’re making here at Yapster in these areas alongside brands such as Ann Summers and Superdry.

Yapster Admin