Distributing information in an organization can sometimes feel like playing telephone. When we need to share information with teammates, it can be easy to start small, by having side conversations with colleagues sitting nearby. If you know how telephone is played, you know that this can be a recipe for disaster, with people passing on diluted information they did not have adequate time to reflect on. However, in a remote work environment, we have an opportunity to think about how we can distribute information quickly and equally throughout an organization to avoid confusion and misalignment.
One way you can improve the flow of information in your organization is to share one message in multiple formats. Think about someone you follow on Instagram—you may not remember what they posted last week. This is because it’s almost impossible to retain every single piece of information we encounter in a week. Similarly, it can be easy to feel bombarded with information in a remote work environment. Sharing a message in multiple formats can help people retain the information you need them to retain.
Tips for sharing your message and making sure it sticks with your team:
Use Slack, Twitter, and LinkedIn to post brief messages, or to direct your team to a document with more information. You can track likes, views, and replies to confirm that people have received and retained the message.
For teammates who retain information better through visuals, use video updates to communicate. The benefits of video messaging are evident with many companies shifting towards creating more video content to engage and retain their audiences.
Detailed weekly update emails can allow your team to digest and reflect on information, and hopefully to formulate questions they might have to clarify their understanding.
Hold live Q&A sessions after you’ve shared information to allow people to dig deeper and ensure they understand what you’ve shared.
When you’re able to put these things together well, people come along on the journey with you. It helps to make your work more collaborative and build positive habits around distributing important information.
Anthony Kim is a Corwin Press bestselling author, with publications including The New Team Habits, The New School Rules, and The Personalized Learning Playbook. His writing ranges the topics of the future of work, leadership and team motivation, improving the way we work, and innovation in systems-based approaches to organizations and school design. Anthony believes that how we work is the key determinant to the success of any organization. He is a nationally recognized speaker on learning and his work has been referenced by the Christensen Institute, iNACOL, EdSurge, CompetencyWorks, Education Week, District Administration, and numerous research reports. In addition to his writing, Anthony is the founder and Chief Learning Officer of Education Elements, a trusted partner and consultant to over 1,000 schools nationwide. Anthony has been the founder of several companies across multiple industries, including online education, ecommerce, and concerts and events.