What Do Soup and Workplace Communications Have in Common?

Workplace Communications

Do you have tons of important information that you have trouble getting to your employees? Maybe you have an intranet crammed with essential information, but employees hardly ever go there.

If so, you’re not alone. The main problem with intranets is they are out of sight, so they are out of mind. It’s simply human nature. Employees tend to only go to them when they need something, like a co-worker’s contact info, but don’t spend much time looking around.

So how do you get them to see all that critical info? An experiment done at Cornell University gives some clues about human nature and consumption, in this case soup. The person running the experiment asked students to come in for lunch and gave them bowls of soup while they were asked a series of (non-relevant) questions. However, some of the bowls were rigged with hidden plastic tubes that kept feeding more soup into the bowl as the students consumed it. Students eating from those bowls consumed 73% more than those eating from normal ones.

It seems that people will consume more when it’s easily available, a finding that I think it directly applicable to workplace communications. If you expect your employees to go searching for information, you’re in for a tough time. A technique that works much better is to get the information in front of them using an internet-connected screens where they will consume the info, and hopefully lots of it.

How To Start Improving Workplace Communications

Just like the ads on billboards you read as you drive down the highway, you want to get info on screen that your employees will read as they walk or sit nearby. Just like with the soup experiment, when you serve up information in a way that they don’t have to work to get more, they will consume more. We’ve helped thousands of customers improve their workplace communications over the past 15 years and would love to show you how.

Frank Kenna III
August 9, 2018

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