Article: Unlock the Power of Communication Fitness: How Personalised Learning At Scale Drives Business Impact

Learning & Development

Unlock the Power of Communication Fitness: How Personalised Learning At Scale Drives Business Impact

Communication fitness is the key to driving business impact, but this calls for strategically designed personalised learning journeys specialised for the role in question. Discover how hyper-personalised learning journeys can help improve communication fitness and increase business outcomes.
Unlock the Power of Communication Fitness: How Personalised Learning At Scale Drives Business Impact

In today’s dynamic business environment, effective communication and collaboration are more important than ever before. Especially when communication facets such as openness, honesty, and transparency are hallmark values that can build or break organizations.

Today, people experience and expect a highly consumer-grade experience in every walk of life. The right communication at the right time and in the right manner is vital to curate a superior experience for consumers, customers, and employees alike. It is not merely a feel-good factor but has a real and tangible business impact. Studies have often highlighted that poor communication can result in missed deadlines, lack of clarity, increased costs, reduced efficiency, and productivity, ultimately impacting individual and business performance. Effective communication is inevitably the key to success and continued growth for organisations. 

Intelligent investment in learning interventions in this direction has become critical and will accelerate productivity and open up doors for innovation, but most importantly, it will reduce business costs. Here is how. 

What and Why of Communication Fitness

Communication fitness is a multifaceted instrument, requiring employees to be strong at sending, receiving, understanding, and responding to communication. At the workplace, it becomes especially important as it boils down to the ability of an individual to communicate with clarity, confidence and credibility as they carry out their daily responsibilities. Clear communication enhances collaboration, relationship building, co-creation and cross-functional connections, adding meaning and purpose to work. 

Inadequate communication fitness can mar business growth and sustenance by hampering deliveries, eroding trust and damaging reputations. According to the Economic Intelligence Unit, poor communication fitness is the reason behind 44% of failed projects, 31% of low employee morale, 25% of missed performance goals and 18% of lost sales at the workplace.  

Deeper communication challenges emerged with the rise of remote working and virtual teams and the loss of face-to-face human connection. In this context, communication fitness is a top-level agenda point for CXOs to build a future-ready organisation. The key is to ‘skill-at-scale’ with a personalised, tailor-made upskilling strategy which suits their unique business demands and individualised people needs. A starting point is to draft learner personas, and one effective framework for this is the Jobs To Be Done framework. 

The Jobs to be Done (JTBD) Framework for Communication Fitness

Introduced by Clayton Christensen, who first coined the term ‘jobs-to-be-done’ in his 2003 book “The Innovator Solution”,  this framework has had inputs from multiple scholars through the years. But the crux of this framework lies in defining, categorising, capturing, and organising all your customers’ needs. When it comes to aligning it with the goals for communication fitness, the JTBD framework will play a monumental role in crafting the direction your employee’s learning journeys must navigate. 

HR and L&D leaders can witness greater impact by defining learner personas and creating personalised learning journeys. This can ensure success in the role based on the industry-specific context and targets to be achieved. It involves outlining the key jobs done and problems faced by the individual and defining steps to bridge the communication gap better and faster. In this article, we explore how this framework supports us in outlining the skill gaps and how we can design techniques to empower our professionals to become more agile and future-ready. 

In this article, we explore how The Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework can be applied to designing learning programs. These cases are examples of how the JTBD framework can be applied to designing learning programs by understanding the specific jobs communication fitness is doing for organisations in three key domains in the Indian Industry landscape: Pharmaceuticals, BFSI and Consulting.

Case 01: The Production Manager in Pharmaceuticals

Production managers carry out communication tasks such as relaying instructions to their internal teams and managing audits with external auditors. However, poor communication during audit conversations often leads to failure in building trust with auditors. Production managers struggle with filtering details in these critical interactions, resulting in extra information flowing out to auditors and subsequent unnecessary questioning. The communication gap is so pronounced that even as SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), they may find it difficult to explain deviations with logic. Such a gap ultimately results in a loss of trust and inefficiencies in the core audit process. 

To address this gap, it is essential to enable production managers to give confident explanations which help them set their credibility. Providing them with the capability to deliver to-the-point and clear instructions will help them improve efficiency by reducing the TAT on actions to be taken. As they become more proficient in building trust better and faster with auditors, they will be empowered to take up these meetings independently and manage their bandwidth accordingly,  being more productive at the workplace. 

Case 02: The Key Account Manager in BFSI

These role-holders typically perform tasks related to connecting with customers to increase networks, introducing & pitching services to close deals, and accompanying team members for meetings with HNI (High Net-Worth Individuals) customers. They also share plans, strategies and updates in review meetings - a key communication component and success factor. Despite communication being a core part of the job, it is seen that often their pitches are not impactful, so they cannot convert a prospective deal into business. There is also a gap in connecting the product and service features to the customer needs. 

While they are able to capture key information directly from customers, they may be unable to translate it into useful insights for stakeholders to improve the product or process. It is imperative for them to have in-depth knowledge about the customer and customise the pitch for more impactful conversations. The desirable learning outcome is for KAMS to close deals faster and bring in more business, with the decision-making TAT being reduced. Investing in communication fitness will play an invaluable role in achieving this. 

Case 03: The IT&D Senior Product Line Manager in Consulting

IT&D Senior Product Line Managers are responsible for supporting global innovation & launches, global regulations & compliance, and process automation and design. From a communication standpoint, the JTBD outlines tasks such as proposing innovation in the process and system, designing solutions, presenting the same to key stakeholders for their buy-in and showcasing the impact of an improved process. Other communication tasks include getting the information for process designing from different departments and explaining tech-heavy solutions to a non-tech audience. Therein lies the gap, i.e. these tech specialists struggle to simplify products and solutions to a non-tech audience for whom it is designed. They are unable to present information to senior stakeholders with strong logic and impact and may rely on their senior's support to convert deals into approvals. This, in turn, may lead to longer TAT for critical decisions. 

These professionals must develop a better understanding of the audience and learn to simplify details. This will help the non-tech audience understand and operate the system with improved efficiency. The outcome will be faster approvals, buy-ins, and reduced TAT in converting an idea into a system change or project initiation. Overall, this would result in better career growth with managers getting more exposure and moving up the hierarchy as they trust their capabilities to communicate independently with stakeholders. 

Creating the right communication fitness strategy is possible with the right blend of technology and coaching programs. HR, L&D and business leaders need to work closely together to prioritise such learning interventions to elevate their organisational growth strategy. Building individual and collective communication capabilities will be vital in this endeavour to unlock innovation and drive business performance with personalised skill-building opportunities. To know more about how can be the right partner for you on this journey, click here

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Topics: Learning & Development, Skilling, #FutureOfWork, #HRTech

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