Workplace Communication

In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?

We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.

Company bloggers, make sure you’re familiar with the basics of marketing and communications 101. To reach your audience in the right way, think through four key questions. Once you know the answers to those questions, take the next step and create an editorial calendar specifying what you’ll write about over the next several months.

If you often find yourself chalking up things to a “senior moment,” it may be time to train your aging brain. Scientists have confirmed that brains continue to grow through and beyond middle age. The trick is finding ways to keep brain connections in good condition and to grow more of them.

In business writing, you don’t receive extra credit for slathering your sentences with fancy phrases, the way you did in college. Do that in a memo, and you can expect eyes to glaze over. What you cut from your writing is often more important than what you add to it, says Jane Dominguez of The Write Business Advantage. Trim the clutter from business writing with her tips:

Some online tools allow you to say something to work colleagues anonymously, such as Anonymous Employee or TxtEmNow.com. The trouble with this sort of anonymity is that it doesn’t allow you to fully resolve a problem.

Gone are the days when businesses could simply liken customers to loyal dogs and forgetful goldfish, says author Joseph Jaffe. Today’s consumers are elephants—highly social and capable of rampages. And they never forget. By providing customers with an experience that really impresses them, Jaffe says, you can be sure they won’t keep quiet about it. Consider these tips:

Pay attention to how you sound in response to being questioned or contradicted. If your people get the slightest whiff that agreement is what you prefer, that’s what you’ll get. To fight that possibility, take these steps:

Lee’s immediate supervisor left the organization, so now she reports to a higher-level director. In their meetings, the director seems distracted and bored, even though Lee takes extra time to prepare. “My preparation is usually met with a very brief response or a push off to another manager,” she says. “What can I do to make our meetings more engaging?”

The three types of photos to avoid in employee publications, according to Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications: 1. The “grip-and-grin” photograph, or two people shaking hands and smiling at the camera. 2. The “man on phone at his desk.” 3. The “execution at dawn” shot, or a row of standing employees.

Question: “After making a career change, I am six weeks into a new job at a large health care company. I hope to be promoted to a specific position in the next three years. In trying to get ahead, I understand the importance of all the basic stuff, like good attendance, proper dress, meeting deadlines and so forth. But can you suggest any other smart moves for career-minded new employees?”

The California Department of Parks and Recreation recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought in August of 2008 by a park ranger who argued that she was harassed and experienced gender and sexual-orientation discrimination during the six years she worked at San Onofre and San Clemente State Beaches.