The daily pile of contents and messages an employee receives through their smartphone or PC is enormous. On average, an employee can open up to 18 up to 100 tabs across eight windows. The reason employees open dozens of tabs in browsers is to get more information at one time. However, instead of giving the information employees need, too many tabs opened in a browser could only make employees more redundant. Not to mention, sometimes it gives the wrong information and creates slow communication due to decreased focus and attention.
The production and consumption of content are shortening attention spans. Accelerating Dynamics of Collective Attention (ADCA) study found that producing and consuming a huge pile of content results in shortening of attention spans for individual topics and higher turnover rates between popular items. The study also highlighted that the abundance of information leads to the limitations of the available collective attention which could lead employees to miss important information due to their decreased attention.
Moreover, instead of increasing productivity, tons of different window tabs opened could actually hinder one’s productivity and are likely giving false information. Too many tabs also offer too many distractions and a lack of organisation which can literally slow the computer and information flow. Each tab ties up resources and memory on the machine and causes other applications to perform slowly. At most, individuals should only have 5-7 tabs open at any given time, and less is better.
As employees might expose themselves with too much information during their workday, leaders should break through the noise by adding value to company information, thus, attracting and catching employees’ attention. To successfully capture employees’ attention, the information should be well-served by embarking on a unified, coordinated approach to communications. Here are tips to create contents that hold employee’s attention.
Researchers at MIT News stated that HR leaders often face challenges to provide information to their employees, thus, employees often miss a lot, even when the topic is something they care about, such as payroll and benefits. This is because internal communication often only talks about old news.
Humans are drawn to information that is fresh, unexpected, and novel. When employees find the content (headline) interesting, employees are likely to share the content, MIT added. Therefore, in every information sent to employees, make sure you always send updated news with catchy headlines that are valuable for employees.
Formal communication tends to use a formal tone. While it is not wrong to use formal communication, MIT suggested that it is too weary and old, especially among the Millennial and Generation Z employees. In addition, employees generally like to be approached personally, that said, using approachable, conversational, and even casual tone is advisable. Leaders can also be personal and be more human in creating content.
Individuals are more interested in reading something that can refresh their mind and is interesting, such as videos or infographics. This also applies to your employees even when you are trying to spread crucial information for your internal team. Video or infographics will likely grab their first attention which will direct them to find further information on company web or employee handbook.
One-way communication is still common, and it kills effective communication within workplaces between leaders and subordinates. Hence, in every internal message, there should be room for employees to share their ideas, express their feedback, or simply give a vote. Two-way communication always becomes a top-notch strategy for businesses to stay competitive and retain employees.
In this strategy, however, leaders should not just stop on the way of communications. Listen and interpret employee feedback. There can also be a face-to-face meeting or video meeting when the issues or discussion is major to avoid misunderstanding from talking through texts. Likewise, contents are just a bridge for leaders and employees to communicate effectively. At the end of the day, there should always be action taken to create a better culture within the workplace.