In several past posts, Do You Suffer From Continuous Partial Attention Syndrome? and Focused and Clear Communications, I wrote about the speed of communications and how complicated everything can be in today’s “over-connected’ world. As a business leader, there are a number of techniques that can be used to cut through the noise and effectively communicate and lead your organization. I am only going to talk about two techniques here in this post but I will add others in the future.
The first tool that I have found to be very effective is something called “Did you know . . . “ emails.
These are daily emails that are sent to employees by the organization’s leader to inform them of things relevant to the organization or marketplace. The subject line should always and only read “Did You Know . . . “ and the email body should start with the same.
The message in the email can be current events, planned future events, goals, progress against goals, vision related, mission related, values based or something in the organizations past that would be beneficial to share with staff today. Note that these emails should only be a few sentences long and should consistently reinforce the organization’s vision, mission, values and goals.
The key with these emails is to be consistent and brief. Don’t miss a day and never write email essays. You will find that after a few weeks, employees get engaged and start sending in topics and information that they would like to see shared in the daily email. Because of this, you will rarely struggle to find content. Here are some examples to get you started:
Did You Know . . . that <company name> was established in 1965 in <town> with 3 people?
Did You Know . . . that we have hit 75% of our yearly Sales targets already and we have six months left in our year! It looks like it will be another record year!
Did You Know . . . that we raised $10,000 for <charity name> last month
The second tool that is very effective is a web based feedback page for employees only.
Build an anonymous web based feedback page on the company intranet (not the internet) that allows only employees to provide any sort of feedback to the leadership without the fear of reprisal. The feedback should be screened for appropriateness and then answered by the organization’s leader and posted on that same site for all employees to read.Wherever possible, tie the answers back to the organization’s vision, mission, values and goals.
This is an extremely powerful tool for;
1) Gauging the morale of the employees
2) Addressing issues that leaders may not even know exist
3) Identifying communication gaps in the organization
4) Tying everything the organization does back to vision, mission and values
5) Understanding employee feelings and engagement after important company events and communications
6) Dealing with organizational change
When used properly, these two tools can provide the organization’s leaders excellent feedback from all levels of the organization. If the leaders take this feedback and directly address the concerns and disconnects and reinforce the positives, vision, mission, values and goals, they can radically improve the communication and overall morale inside the organization.