And the Winner IS................

The animal kingdom communicates by snarling, growling, barking, roaring, puffing up quills, shaking tail feathers or slapping a dorsal fin. We humans are even more complicated. We use most of the aforementioned communication tools, but have also developed spoken and written languages to convey our thoughts and intentions.

It is estimated that between 4,000 and 10,000 separate languages exist worldwide. This does not include the estimated 50,000 dialects, nor subject-specific jargons or the computer "languages" that have mushroomed in the past few decades. No wonder we're confused.

And in the world of multinational corporations, communications issues are central to creating understanding and promoting the efficient, cooperative teamwork that directly affects the bottom line.

So, what communication method is best? Here are the top contenders:

  • All the News that Fits - Once thought on the way out, a survey of 40 Best Practice companies says that print vehicles remain favored, and their numbers are still growing. Print may be the only vehicle that can be shared with both the family and customers.

  • It's Electric! - we're all plugged-in and linked to the collective like the Borg…electronic newsletters, companywide Intranets and those 200 e-mails waiting for you every time you log on. We should be feeling warm and connected, but if the vehicles aren't designed and managed properly we just feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Most Best Practice companies still consider it supplemental to print.

  • One-on-One - Surveys reveal that employees want to receive more face-to-face communication. Sounds great, but the CEO can't visit every site for cozy chats, and immediate supervisors are either too busy, out of the corporate strategy loop or not trained as communicators.

So, who's the winner? Actually there's no knockout punch from any one method. You need it all - good publications, electronic, video, audio, CD-ROM, town hall meetings and breakfast with the boss. Berry Associates has more than 25 years of experience in employee communication strategies and program execution. Let's talk.