The Face-to-face channel comprises tactics that involve direct, inter-personal interaction where nuances of the speaker’s body language and manner are visible.
Whole-of-body communication: face-to-face communication affords considerable scope for conveying clarity of meaning through the speaker’s body language, energy, image, voice and tone, which have greater impact (93 percent) than the speaker’s words alone (7 percent).
Changing behaviour: face-to-face communication is integral to changing employee behaviour and shifting mind-sets because successful change requires a commitment based on emotional conviction, not just rational understanding.
Immediate transfer of understanding: face-to-face communication enables employees to get an immediate response to their concerns through dialogue around the ‘What’s in it for me?’ factors.
No place to hide: face-to-face communication is only effective when it is genuine, founded on truth and sincere. Employees’ radars are highly tuned to obfuscation, fabrication and ‘spin’, which lead to loss of leadership credibility and trust.
Credibility and trust factors: face-to-face communication needs to be undertaken with extreme care. To achieve credibility and trust, it’s critical that due consideration is given not just to what is said, but more importantly, how it is said. Once credibility and trust are damaged, it is extremely difficult to repair them.
Two-way can be daunting: two-way communications, especially in public forums, can be daunting for employees. Relevant tactics include tips on ways to address this.
Board games in the workplace mimic those commonly used for family entertainment, such as Snakes & Ladders and Checkers. Such board games entail moving counters or placing cards on a pre-marked surface in accordance with a set of specific rules.
Breakfast briefings are regular information sessions held early in the morning to provide employees with opportunities to hear presentations by noteworthy speakers, mostly from within the organisation.
Brown bag lunches are informal lunch-time meetings held regularly (usually monthly) that are attended by a broad-spectrum group of employees and facilitated by at least one executive team member.
Buzz groups are formal meetings to put the spotlight on specific organisational issues or topics through discussions by end-users, contributors, subject matter experts, key opinion leaders or networkers.
Conferences are briefing sessions held once or twice a year to communicate relevant information to defined employee groups. Content may focus on the following areas: Organisational review and market updates,
Conversation cafés are a form of employee interaction that simulates the conversations friends have in cafés discussing topical issues, and ways to solve them. The conversation café methodology models this by seating groups of employees.
Conversation with the chairman is an interview-style dialogue conducted as part of an employee conference, roadshow or townhall meeting. The value of the chairman as a communication medium is often overlooked.
A flipchart is a pad of large paper sheets fixed at the upper edge to a support board that stands on a tripod. Text is usually hand written with marker pens and may include figures or charts. When completed, the sheet is flipped over.
Focus groups are a qualitative research tool in which a group of employees is asked about their attitude to, and opinions of, an issue, product, service, initiative, event or idea. Focus group discussions are led by a facilitator.
Huddles are quick, informal stand-up meetings focused on sharing information with a specific end-purpose in mind. Huddles are used in situations where it is advantageous for a group of employees to come together quickly and share information.
Hypotheticals are interactive sessions where an organisational issue is played out in some future time based on a number of assumptions. Hypotheticals provide a methodology for examining difficult choices.
Induction programs initiate new employees into the ‘Organisation’s Way’. Studies have shown that the initial days of employment are key to an employee learning a new job successfully and adopting the required organisational practices.
A third-party interview is an in-depth conversation conducted between a senior leader and an interviewer from outside the organisation, e.g. a respected television or radio journalist, or subject matter expert.
Leaders forums are a series of conferences solely for the organisation’s leaders (suggested definition of a ‘leader’ in this context is anyone who manages three or more employees).
Leader’s update comprises messages critical to achievement of organisational objectives that are communicated to employees direct from the leader with regular frequency. It is a tactic to provide information and inspiration.
Mock trials are an effective tactic for putting ‘on trial’ inhibitors of high performance to foster shared employee understanding with a view to work-shopping solutions. Staged in front of an audience, mock trials provide a forum.
Open forums are question-and-answer sessions conducted at employee gatherings for the purpose of open discussion with leaders on general organisational issues or specific topics. Open forums can be held as stand-alone events.
Organised social events are the gathering of employees on an informal basis for the purpose of social interaction. Although the emphasis is on informality, such events provide opportunities for leaders to communicate key messages in a relaxed way.
Panel discussions involve debate by subject matter experts or key influencers on issues critical to the organisation’s success. The panelists are seated on stage at a townhall meeting, conference or leaders forum to provide their insights.
Performance appraisals (or employee appraisals) are an essential tool for managing performance. They provide clarity about what is required for success in a role as defined by the ‘what’ (KPIs and objectives) and the ‘how’ (behaviors).
PowerPoint is a proprietary presentation application developed by Microsoft. It is an easy-to-use and effective way of conveying visual and audio elements to support a verbal presentation.
Recognition events are occasions to publicly acknowledge employees who demonstrate desired organisational behaviors and achieve outstanding results. Recognition events may include the presentation of some form of reward.
Roadshows are tours to centers of large employee populations by the CEO and/or senior leaders for communication purposes. They are an effective tactic for informing and motivating employees in a face-to-face environment.
Role plays are a form of improvisational drama where actors (or employees) adopt and act out various roles to represent a situation or event to an audience. Role plays are a valuable communication tactic because they showcase in a real-life way.
Significant days are those that are important in the context of the organisation’s history, operations or values system, its employee and affiliate groups, or the community and society in which it operates.
Speeches entail the verbal delivery of information and ideas in a structured and deliberate manner to inform, motivate and inspire employees, or to celebrate major achievements. Effective speech-making has been a hallmark of great leaders.
Speed networking is based on the premises of ‘speed dating’ and ‘six degrees of separation’. Speed dating randomly rotates a select number of participants for a series of short conversations with potential partners.
Stakeholder engagement events are activities the organisation hosts to build or strengthen relationships with key stakeholders. Such events include, Media conferences, Investor presentations, Government meetings and Customer/client functions.
Storytelling is the use of narrative and metaphor to convey meaning. The aim is to spark a vivid picture in employees’ minds that connects at a rational and an emotional level.
Symbolic actions are a form of non-verbal communication where everything a leader does (rather than ‘says’) symbolizes important information to employees. Symbolic actions are based on the premise that ‘actions speak louder than words’.
Team briefings are a structured system of regular team meetings to communicate important information down through the organisation in a face-to-face environment that fosters discussion. They differ from team meetings.
Team meetings are an essential communication tactic for managing team performance. They are conducted in face-to-face (or virtual face-to-face) environments at the behest of a designated meeting leader.
Townhall meetings are large-scale employee gatherings held in suitable premises including townhalls, conference centres, football stadiums, marquees or hotel ballrooms. They are generally hosted by the leadership team.
Visual metaphor maps represent a key organisational concept, change initiative or new strategy as a visual metaphor to shift employee understanding and mind-sets. The map process takes employees on a journey from point A to point B.