In a hyper-competitive world and in a weak economy, companies need fully engaged employees who understand and buy into the corporate strategy. So there's a shockingly huge opportunity at most companies in America today:
- A 2009 Gallup study found only 28% of employees at large companies describe themselves as fully engaged in their work; 54% say they are not engaged and 18% say they're "actively disengaged." (Accompanying graphic courtesy of Gallup Management Journal, Sept. 2010)
- "Only 37% of employees have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to do and why. Just one in five employees are enthusiastic about their organization's and teams goals." -- You Can't NOT Communicate2, by David Grossman
Fortunately, Grossman's latest book is an incredibly useful tool for business leaders and communicators who want to increase employee engagement and alignment. Clear, compelling, purposeful communication can make a huge difference in the workplace.
Grossman makes the case for the greatness: "Good internal communication gets the message out, but great internal communication helps employees connect the dots between the overarching business strategy and their individual roles. When it's good, it informs; when it's great, it engages employees and moves them to action." (p. 17)
The book itself models many of Grossman's principles for effective communication--it's short and easy-to-follow with simple, bulleted copy and lots of illustrations. Each chapter has practical tips, questions for self-reflection and specific actions to implement. It amounts to a comprehensive, self-guided business school course, beginning with the fundamentals (that ought to be obvious but will be of benefit to just about everyone) and including "Advanced Communication Mastery" for those ready to take the fundamentals "to the next level." Grossman makes even this graduate level material easy to understand, but warns that it will take courage to put into practice. "What courageous conversation might you need to have today," he asks, "and how can you develop your communications skills to prepare?"
Disclosure: David Grossman is a friend and someone I admire.