By Terry Thompson & Jason Kipps:
In our last entry (Managing Corporate Culture – Articulating a Compelling Vision and Related Values), we described the key aspects of drafting vision and mission statements and corporate values. Now, communicating these items effectively to your managers and to the rest of your employees becomes as important as the words themselves.
The golden rule of effective communication is:
Beyond just delivering the message, the sender must ensure that the message is understood by the receiver as intended. Further, with respect to vision and values, the CEO should be front and centre.
Some universal guidelines regarding corporate communication of any kind include:
- Receive input from your key managers regarding the content of the message.
- Confirm that their understanding of the intent and content of the message is the same as yours. A common communication mistake is the sender assumes that by merely presenting the message the receiver will understand it in exactly the same way as the sender does. This rarely happens so it is imperative that you have your key managers advise you as to what their understanding of the message is, determine where you differ, and then minimize these differences when you communicate the message to all of your employees. For critical messages, it is useful to pick some non-management personnel and go through the same exercise with them prior to releasing the communication.
- It is imperative that your managers/supervisors are on the same page with you regarding the objectives, content, and understanding of each message. As mentioned in an earlier article, if your managers do not eat, breathe, and believe the company’s key initiatives (and messages), the messages will not be successful.
- Determine how best to communicate to all employees – i.e. which people should deliver the message, where, and when. This will, to a great extent, be dictated by the geographic and organizational structure of your company. Ensure that anyone delivering key communication is properly coached and prepared and you have confidence that they will do it properly. Proper corporate communication is a priority to building culture. Most managers need improvement and help when communicating key corporate information.
- After the message is communicated, have your managers check with a sample of non-management employees as to their understanding of the message in order to ensure that it was properly understood.
In Terry’s company, we used the marketing person to help draft corporate communication. We also prepared power point slides to facilitate the managers’ presentations and observed their presentations in order to give them feedback. The frequency of these communications will be mentioned in the next article.
Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email us at Terry Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason Kipps at Jasonkipps@gmail.com ©