Newmeasures: Insights for an exceptional workforce

Sharing Information

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

What to Know

As hard as we try to provide information, people aren’t going to consume it if it isn’t easy, accessible, or to the point. If you feel like communication at your organization or within your team is good, but employees are telling you otherwise, it may be time to consider new methods for sharing key information. It’s important to find ways of communicating that really work for your people and your environment.


People in today’s world are flooded with information, so it may be less about having enough information, and more about having enough of the right information. Especially when your plan is to cascade information down the organization, it is important to confirm who will be sharing the information and how to ensure it gets to all intended people.
What Managers Can Do

People have different preferences for methods of communication. Consider using more than one form of communication (e.g., email, newsletter, town hall meetings, shift/team meetings, video communication, social media).

Employees can handle “bad” news but struggle with no news. In the absence of information, we fill in the missing pieces, which can lead to inaccurate messages or rumors. Consider this when crafting communications. If you don’t know, say so.

Often, communicating the process and reasoning that led to a particular decision is as important as conveying the decision itself. These details foster employee buy-in and understanding for what to expect next. Let your team in on your thinking so people can ask questions, feel in-the-know, and can even help anticipate challenges you didn’t identify. Because processing and decision-making happens in our own heads, and because we’re often in a hurry, it’s easy to forget to let people in on our thinking.

What Employees Can Do

Your manager or teammates may not know what information is most critical for you. Make a point to share what information you need and in what timeframe.

Other people don’t have the deep insights into your work like you do. Consider what information about your roles and responsibilities would be helpful to share with others. When you offer information, this will open the door for others to communicate more frequently/thoroughly with you too.

Sometimes it’s tempting to keep information to yourself because it feels good to be in-the-know. However, this mindset can be toxic and doesn’t contribute to a collaborative or open culture. Do your part in offering and sharing information when you can.

What Leadership Can Do

Often messages get lost as they are repeated throughout the organization: for critical messages, consider using short and concise written communication or providing talking points to leaders as a reference for when they talk to their teams.

People become frustrated or feel devalued when they get word that other people received information or updates before they did. To hedge this, agree what specific messages need to be shared and by when so information is disseminated thoroughly and consistently.


Managing Interactively: Executing Business Strategy, Improving Communication, and Creating a Knowledge-Sharing Culture by Mary Boone

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daviel Levitin