Workplace communication channels need to be graphic and concise.

Another year, another election—from choosing the President of the United States to selecting your local council member. 

So, if you’re a good citizen, you’ll likely find yourself in a polling place. And, if you’re lucky, your polling place will be in one of my favorite locations: an elementary school.

Sure, there’s the usual spectacle: The gym filled with tables and voting booths and cheerful senior citizens signing voters in and working the machine. Voters rushing in on their way to work, looking intent and virtuous.

But my favorite part of an election is seeing how the school displays stuff—tacked and pasted on every surface of every wall. It’s an elementary school, after all, and teachers use every opportunity they can to get students’ attention and display their work.

When I visited last time, I saw was a bar chart indicating the kids’ favorite color of autumn leaves (red won, with yellow coming in second and brown a distant third.) And on another were drawings students had done to depict their favorite scene of the children’s classic book, Make Way for Ducklings. Down the hall kids had made collages of leaves they brought from home, with captions indicating from which kind of tree each leaf had fallen. And on the door were hand-made posters inviting children to participate in the food drive with illustrations of the types of products being sought.

Simple? Hardly. Through visuals on the wall, children were being educated about statistics (polling), literature (the book), science (trees) and social responsibility (the food drive). And it was all colorful, easy to understand and appealing.

When you think about the way you communicate with employees, ask yourself: Are your walls being put to good use? Are your posters as effective? Take a trip to your nearest school to learn more.

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