It should come as no surprise that corporate hiring rates continue to remain below historic averages. As a recent article from Reuters points out, the net employment outlook for the United States is flat, while Europe faces weakening numbers.
Yet we should also not be surprised that demands on us corporate communicators have not reduced. In fact, if anything our business partners are asking us to do more than ever — a recent CEC survey revealed that 76% of communicators report an increased workload in the past two years. This leaves us stuck between a rock and a hard place. Demand for our services is increasing but there is no additional help coming.
So what’s a Communications function to do? Throw up our collective hands and just hope for the best? Well, I may not have the silver bullet, but before you get too frustrated, here are a few resources from CEC which I think will help.
- Assess the value-to-cost of your activities – Face it – we can’t do EVERYTHING. Take a page out of ConAgra Foods communicators’ book and partner with the business to run a simple value-to-cost analysis. This straightforward process will help you to identify those workflows which your business partner value most, while also highlighting projects to potentially discontinue or reduce involvement in.
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses – Join the other 2,000 communicators in the CEC network who have taken the Skills Maturity Assessment to surface your strengths and opportunity areas to target with additional training. Those reinforcements are unlikely to come anytime soon, so now is the time to invest in yourself. Start here with this great resource.
- Practice tactical deafness – The next time a business partner comes to you asking for a specific deliverable, “ignore” the tactic and instead probe deeper to surface the underlying problem. Instead of investing time in a deliverable that may or may not be the answer, wouldn’t it make more sense to do some additional investigation to understand the motivation and desired result? What you end up creating will likely be very different from the original request.