Work Is Not “Wheel Of Fortune”

I used to watch TV game shows regularly. I liked Jeopardy, and when my mother-in-law was visiting, we also watched Wheel of Fortune.

It’s a good puzzle show, but beyond the game itself, I find it interesting to watch people’s strategies. Most contestants know the frequency of letters in words, so they go after the easy ones right away.

Is there an “S”? How about “T”? And of course, when “T” shows up as the lead letter in a three-letter word, they immediately ask for an “H”.

But why, why, why do some of the players insist on buying vowels when it is evident what letter is missing? You don’t need to give up your prize money just to prove yourself right. I mean, once you see a “Q”, do you really need to buy the “U”?

I'd like to buy an "O" please. Buzz. Sorry.
I’d like to buy an “O” please. Buzz. Sorry.

They may buy the vowel to confirm a suspicion of the puzzle of course, and by buying the vowel they avoid spinning the wheel and possibly bankrupting or losing a turn.

But how hard do we make our employees work to get a message? Do we issue a communication and see what happens? Do we have some test-case employees who will respond and advise on a communication piece that will eventually go to all employees? If we are smart, yes.

You can write the clearest communication possible, and it will still leave some employees with questions. We shouldn’t make them work to understand something we want them to do or to know. Communication needs to be a dialog, but it doesn’t need to be a mystery.

So the next time you consider communicating TO employees, think in terms of communicating WITH employees. The product will be much better. And bring all the needed letters to the discussion. Don’t make them buy a vowel.

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