Go where the attention is

If we want our message to be effective, we need to place it where the attention is.

It seems obvious. Yet, companies continue to advertise on billboards, on the radio, and on television, despite the fact that we now use our phones to search for information, to listen to podcasts, to watch Netflix.

Organization must know where their employees’ attention is if they want to have an effective ethics and compliance communication program. Depending on the size and footprint of the organization, the same ethics message might have to take different forms:

  • In a small factory in Asia, where meals are provided to all workers for free in the canteen, table tent cards can be a good way to reach everyone and spur conversation.
  • For a sales force deployed in the field 300 days/year, using a mobile phone application to deliver messages and administer a short quiz can prove effective.
  • For office-based employees, asking supervisors to give voice to the company’s values during staff meetings allows them to be visible and vocal on the importance of ethics.

In large organizations, there is no size-fits-all. Good communication requires effort and planning. We must look at our employee “buckets” and figure out where the attention is for each.

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