The one page memo for modern training
Procter & Gamble’s One Page Memo
(And How They’ve Influenced Modern Training)
3 things you need to know:
The "One page Memo” and micro-content
Relevance wins with content
Add a modern twist with videos & infographics
The one page memo for modern training!
The era of dreadfully long training sessions is coming to an end. There’s a revolution coming that will change the way you train your people.
The one-page memo has seen many adaptations, but the main idea remains the same. Essentially, you cut to the chase and present the idea in an appealing manner. With concise communication, you’re providing staff with the core information to engage and educate.
Micro-content is really just a contemporary version of this concept. With increasingly short attention spans and more and more advertising clutter, you need to ensure training is easy to understand an lodges in staff’s memory.
Creating a positive corporate culture is essential to good business. How you communicate with and engage your staff is crucial. A company can look good on the outside but may not create the training processes needed to ensure its people represent their brand. And consider, on average only 2% of your staff share social posts from your company! That’s a very underwhelming statistic.
TRAINING YOUR STAFF
Think about the onboarding process at your company. There may be reams of paper. Paragraphs upon paragraphs of uninspiring text. Thick documents eventually collecting dust on your shelf. But imagine if there was another way.
The outer-brand uses short, sharp, and memorable messages to engage customers but what happens to staff?
Micro learning, or bite-sized learning, is a hot topic. It’s a fairly new approach to training that is very effective. It allows you to get the most important messages to your people in a format that’s easy to learn.
TRAINING = RIO
Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace survey highlights the benefits of engaging employees through great training. These include over 40% less absenteeism and 21% higher profits. Procter & Gamble’s one-page memo system is a perfect example. Let’s take a look at how they do it.
Procter & Gamble’s Memo
The one-page memo ensures ‘boring presentations and no agenda’ doesn’t happen. As a form of bite-sized learning, it’s concise and is straight to the point. As a result, it’s far more engaging and easier for the mind to absorb.
The idea behind it is self-explanatory. Each proposal needs to fit in one page. This is significantly different than many other forms of presentation, and it happens to be far more effective.
Even though Procter & Gamble has been using the one-page memo since the 70’s and author Charles Decker mentioned it in his book that he wrote almost 20 years ago which is still relevant today.
Distilled content is king these days - give me the exec summary, not the thesis!
It’s about relevance. This strategy allows your people to snack on the content and see that it’s relevant to them. Once they understand that, they want to learn more. Employees don’t learn by consuming an enormous smorgasbord of materials. They learn though bite-sized content, drip-fed into their working lives, like infographics, videos, and the one-page memo.
Why Does It Work?
There’s no doubt that the one-page memo has revolutionized internal communication. However, as mentioned P&G introduced it in the 70’s. Pretty much nothing in business can survive that long without evolving.
The concept of the one-page memo is actually bite-sized learning. It’s a new standard in internal communication, as it offers a plethora of benefits. Most HR and Marketing departments are isolated, whereas communication with your employees has more influence on success than you might think.. But behind it is a question I routinely ask which is …
How do we take this information and make it accessible? Bite-sized, easily found and absorbed?
What would Google do?
For example, a short video is far more effective than a page of text that would take equally long to read. This is because visual impulses tend to stay in people’s brains longer than plain text. Check out the youtube search stats if you dispute this :)
Another great example is infographics. Think of that as one-page memos with a visual upgrade. They contain all the relevant information with the added bonus of being visually appealing! This ensures stronger engagement and helps employees learn more in less time.
Aside from this, it makes the entire learning process enjoyable. Micro-learning has the advantage of not being a burden to the brain while still giving the necessary information.
One of the best things about bite-sized content is that it keeps all the benefits of its longer counterpart. To create bite-sized content, you need to be as concise as possible. You need to say as much as you can in as little words as possible. The content needs to cut to the chase immediately, which isn’t always easy to do.
It also requires a lot of creativity. This is especially true now when there’s a visual component to cover. To sell any kind of idea, you need to craft it towards your audience.
When you think about it, these are all the things that you need to take into account when marketing your products to consumers. This is the reason why corporate culture and branding are so interconnected.
Need help to blend HR and marketing?
If you need help aligning people, vision and business goals, we’ll show you how to engage your employees on brand and on mission.
About the Author
Jason Knight is the founder and creative director of Moved by Design, designing brand identities and learning material for corporate HR businesses. He has spent over 15 years blending HR with marketing, which has made him a finely tuned visual communicator.