One of the keys for employee motivation is to be clear about the strategy. Therefore in many cases it is necessary to overhaul internal communications strategies in order to convince employees of the authenticity, importance and relevance of their company’s purpose and strategic goals.
Here are some thoughts about reaching your employees with the strategic vision of your organization.
Keep the corporate message simple, but deep in meaning.
Organizations should have a deeper meaning as to why they exist. This tends to influence strategy, decision-making and behaviors at executive levels, but should also be well articulated for employees. What you call it doesn’t matter, your purpose, your core belief, your mission. What does matter is that you establish its relevance with employees in a way that makes them care more about the company and about the job they do. It should be at the core of all of your communications, a simple and inspiring message that is easy to relate to and understand. Strategy-specific messages linked to your purpose become tools to help employees connect their day-to-day efforts with the aspiration of the company.
Dialogue is the new top-down.
Often corporate communications has a strictly top-down approach. But dialogue at the grassroots is just as important, if not more so. Employees are more likely to believe what leaders say when they hear similar arguments from their peers, and conversations can be more persuasive and engaging than one-way presentations. When a message comes from leadership, make sure it’s from your most visible, well-regarded leaders. Integrate regular communications into employee’s daily routines.
Be a real person.
Please take off your “corporate person/executive” hat. The fact is, not many people are deeply inspired by the pieces of communication that their companies put out. Much of it ignores one of the most important truths of communication – and especially communication in the early 21st century: be real. “Corporate speak” comes off hollow and lacking in meaning. Authentic messages from you will help employees see the challenges and opportunities as you see them and understand and care about the direction in which you’re trying to take the company.
Always tell a story.
Facts and figures won’t be remembered. Stories and experiences will. Use storytelling as much as possible to bring humanity to the company and to help employees understand the relevance of your strategy and real-life examples of progress and shortfalls against it. Ask employees to share stories as well, and use these as the foundation for dialogue. Stories and conversations will be a strong influence on positive culture-building behavior that relates to your core purpose and strategic goals.
Use top-notch 21st-century media.
The delivery mechanism is as important and makes as much of a statement as the content itself. Most corporate communications have not been seriously dusted off in a while and the fact is, the way people communicate has changed tremendously in the past five years. Consider the roles of social media, networking, blogs and games to get the word out in ways that your employees are used to engaging in.