One of the balancing acts in employee communication is how to convey the message of strategy to all levels of employees, so that it is relevant, exciting, fresh and meaningful.
So the question with strategy is how do you communicate it so that it is a message that employees truly understand and feel engaged with, rather than yet another corporate communiqué with little connection with anyone other than the leader who requested the message go out.
In my experience, strategy is only communicated successfully when it is integrated with the way we do business at every level. So what I mean by this is that you should not talk about strategy as if it is something happening over there, but rather integrate it with all your other communication and processes so that it becomes integrated with everything else we do at work. Whether I am a member of the senior executive team, a supervisor or frontline staff member it is critically important to ensure that strategy is communicated so that each level understands how it relates to the everyday work that they do and therefore how they can contribute to it.
Think in terms of layers, there are many ways of communicating and integrating strategy within your organisation’s everyday processes. Here are a few ideas that are easy to implement:
1. Identify how can you integrate the message about your organisation’s strategy and achievements to date in the communication that is distributed by human resources, finance, marketing and operations? You might consider performance measures linked to strategic outcomes (HR), financial business performance by business unit and state location (financial), marketing campaigns and response rates (marketing) and operational issues.
2. Consider the key milestones achieved to date with the strategy and at regular team meetings discuss how the next milestones will be achieved based on team performance and contribution to the bigger organisational picture.
3. Whenever you are communicating the strategy ensure that it is linked to the organisation’s vision and mission – think of it as “connecting the dots” don’t assume employees, even your leaders understand how it all links together. And more importantly always think how to make it relevant to the work people do every day.
If you think of strategy as yet another input into your employee communication then constantly seek information on updates and achievements and how that can be contextualised in a message about the work employees do every day. I’m interested to share what you do to communicate strategy to employees so welcome your comments.