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Break Down Communication Silos with OKRs

By: Sonali Nair, DES, HMCC, MIE | Published by MPI Toronto Chapter | Sep 11, 2020

Communication strategies have always been one of the core topics of institutional curriculum and corporate round tables. As per a study by Queens University ofPREVIEW-how-to-break-down-work-silos-between-departments-820x480 Charlotte, 3 out of 4 employers consider communication efficiency as a key driver however most of the managers spend their productive hours playing the ‘calls & emails game’ to ensure everyone has the right information and no one is misrepresenting. When only managers are responsible for the right execution of information, it impacts the way team members communicate with each other. One of the major challenges that managers face is the white space that is created when employees work on their specific goals.

adeolu-eletu-unRkg2jH1j0-unsplashAndy Grove’s High Output Management book highlights how using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as a communication tool helps organizations of all sizes break silos and increase team collaboration & communication efficiency, by equally distributing the onus of organizational success & failure.

Define Shared Objectives of Your Communication Strategy and the Key Results You Want to Achieve:
Shared OKR’s play a crucial role in creating an aligned and directional approach in team communication and collaboration towards a common objective. The majority of organizational user adoption and participation concerns get eliminated when employees understand the bigger picture and their role in the contribution of organization success. For example - Objectives.

Open Door Policy to Create Balance and Trust:
Constructive communication is like two-way traffic. While encouraging people to ask questions and give process suggestions, it is important to also reward channelized feedback on the information they have already received. A study by the Queens University of Charlotte reveals, 80% of millennials would prefer real-time feedback over traditional reviews, which helps in risk mitigation and potential gaps. Encourage talking about fallouts as much as milestones so your collaborators don’t feel scared of failure. Kim Malone Scott is a former Googler and her talk during Goal Summit 2016 was: “How to Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity or Crushing Your Team”. She described her framework for providing guidance and feedback, “care personally” and “challenge directly” to encourage employee on sharing honest and direct feedback with their managers.

Match Your Tech with the Purpose:
you-x-ventures-Oalh2MojUuk-unsplashGateway released a survey study that highlighted 54% of respondents stated technology as a top barrier for effective team communications. It makes sense because oftentimes we choose tools that are either in trend, recommended by someone, or something we have hands-on experience with. However, a tool that works wonders for one organization may not be as useful for your team. Each communication tool available has a purpose to solve and delivers the best results when picked for the right reasons.

• Lean, text-based, one-direction: Use Email, chat, intranet bulletin boards, Igloo, Box, or DropBox.

• Brain-storming, problem-solving, collaborative, multi-directional team interactions: Use video-conferencing, audio-conferencing tools that allow screen sharing or whiteboards like Flowdock, Slack, Teams, Meet, Webex, Zoom, and Google Drive.

• Project Management, Milestones, and Time tracking:, Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Time Doctor, Dapulse, Proofhub.

When employees know their role in an organization’s success and the specific objective they are contributing towards, more work gets done by reducing the inefficiencies.

Interested in learning more on communication? Be sure to check out the Fall issue of Meeting Magazine, coming early November 2020.

About the Author:
Sonali Nair, DES, HMCC, MIE
Manager - Global Campaigns, Digital Events
Toronto, Canada



Sonali Nair, DES, HMCC, MIE | Published by MPI Toronto Chapter

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