ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
May 29, 2008

Beyond Bulletin Boards: Let the walls talk


Bedroom walls may show an intense discretion, but to encourage a burgeoning romance between corporate objectives and employee participation, office walls SHOULD talk.

While sterile walls may be essential in operating rooms, the walls in most workplaces could benefit from an injection of personality. Imagine the potential for improved communications if walls were seen as billboards of proactive, two-way messaging. Consider, also, the utter availability and low-cost factor built into that prime structural plane known as an interior wall.

At my company, L.M. Dulye & Co., headquartered in Warwick, NY, we’ve adopted the phrase “Let the Walls Talk” as a key component in employee engagement leading to a Spectator-Free Workplace®. That’s because walls are the perfect conduits to employ the power of a visual workplace. Walls can reinforce the verbal message. Walls are internal billboards and the potential for powerful in-house public relations is immense!

How can walls evolve into vital centers of information?

Make them interactive. Start with white boards, dry markers. Put comments on the boards … messages to departments … motivational quotes … a question of the day. Leave a place for employee, customers, visitors to leave comments or ideas. Invite feedback; use the board as a two-way window — transparent and revealing.

And, yes, it’s “low tech.” All the better. My company’s research shows that low-tech is seen as sincere and personal. Yet it also happens to be low-cost.

It may sound like a case of stating the obvious, but it’s worth repeating: Building identity, community, and shared pride are what it’s all about. And enriching that sense of community within the workplace drives productivity.

So the next time someone says, “I see the writing on the wall,” it’s a good thing. Your walls really should be talking.

By Linda Dulye is president and founder of L.M. Dulye & Co. , now celebrating its 10th anniversary with a business process approach for improving communication effectiveness across organizations through effective change management strategies and a groundbreaking engagement methodology that calls for a “Spectator-Free Workforce®.” She is an internationally recognized business leader and visionary for using 2-way communication and employee engagement practices to increase business performance and drive change at some of the world’s most admired companies. L.M. Dulye & Co.’s unique and proven 2-way communication methodology was nominated to Fast Company’s Fast 50 Roster for change leadership.

By Linda Dulye will be a featured speaker with L.M. Dulye & Co. client, Sloane Whelan, Rolls-Royce Engine Services-Oakland, presenting their Golden Quill award-winning case study on employee action teams, at the Association of Business Communicators International Conference, Sunday, June 22-Wednesday, June 25, 2008 in New York, NY!

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