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Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)

Keep It Simple, Stupid, or K.I.S.S, is an important mantra to remember when communicating in the workplace. Whether you’re addressing a large audience, having a one-on-one, or communicating via email; brevity and simplicity are crucial to carry out the intended message. The article How to be an Effective Communicator at Work from TruPath states, “Whether written or verbal, avoid jargon and too much wordiness….supervisors who communicate well, retain top employees.”

When communicating with employees, consider these 6 points to KISS:

  1. Know your audience - Will this message align with her/his interest? Will it benefit them and in what way? What does this person care about? What motivates them?

  2. What are the key take-aways? - What does the receiver need/want to know about the subject? How do I explain the ‘why’ to them? Omit unnecessary details and use short, easy-to-understand words.

  3. Speak with purpose - Have a clear understanding of the main message you are trying to get across and outline it in simple terms to ensure the audience is taking it in.

  4. Avoid negativity - Whether addressing an audience or drafting an email, the message should be positive and feedback should be constructive.

  5. End with a strong conclusion - Be sure to include a summary statement with a clear takeaway or next steps, so that the audience leaves with an understanding of what is expected next.

  6. Always double check - In written communication, EDIT YOUR WORK. Look for typos and cut out any fluff. Make sure the message is clear and direct. Consider the message from the audience’s point of view to ensure it is clear and concise.

Practicing “” and maintaining focused, simple communication will lead to better teamwork, increased employee retention, and improved performance.

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