Leaders Not Making Time to Communicate With Employees? Here Are 5 Ways to Create Buy-In
Are you struggling to get leaders to effectively communicate? They’re intelligent and sophisticated but aren’t expert in communication. Perhaps they’re stuck with the idea of “Here’s what I’m looking to convey” instead of “What’s to be gained to employees?” Or , they treat you as an order-taker, requesting one-time assignments like “write this piece” or “format this presentation.”
If yes is the case, you need to improve your game. Let your boss know that you’re an expert and they’ll see you as the strategic advisor instead of a yes Man (or Woman). The best aspect? There is no need to Jedi mind-trick them into taking your suggestions. Learn a few tricks to show the value that communications contributes to your business.
Let’s have a glimpse at Christy. She has recently started her new job with an enormous health care organization and assists various executives such as the CEO for internal communication. She’s had a hard time helping them realize that sending out an email every week isn’t the best method to communicate.
Here are five fantastic methods Christy can influence people to embrace her new communication strategy
1. Know what your leaders expect of you.
The more Christy is aware of what her leaders are thinking about-what they are hoping to achieve and what concerns them, the more she will be able to meet their requirements and achieve their goals.
She can meet with each leader and get responses to these questions
What are your primary goals and objectives for your organization?
What do you like to talk to others? Do you prefer to present or engaging with colleagues?
What defines success? What are the most important things to you?
This will guide Christy in her work to develop the strategy of communication.
2. Make use of evidence to support your argument
One of Christy’s key duties is to bring the voice of employees and the information they require to their leaders. However, how can she accomplish this effectively? Here’s an example of how:
The CEO has begun using a brand new (expensive!) video and webcast technology to run these town hall meetings. Because people who have computers could watch him and ask queries, the entrepreneur no more thought he had to go on websites.
What he wasn’t aware of was that manufacturing employees did not have regular access to computers. Actually they were able to use centrally-located computers “kiosks” during breaks or after their shifts had ended in the evenings, when computers were typically used by people who were looking over their electronic pay stubs , or searching for a benefit question.
Christy was aware that the CEO must get the message to help him see how communication worked for employees. She collected data about employees’ access to computers (how many people per computer as well as the number of minutes they have computer access they had, and what exactly they utilized computers for etc.). She also conducted focus group discussions with employees to find out what they thought of broadcasts on computers versus in-person town hall gatherings.
Employees have said things like:
“When the CEO is visiting I am sure that he truly takes interest in our work and the job that we’re involved in.”
“He is more honest when he is able to answer questions face-to face. When you type in a question into a computer and get the answer, it is in a very standardized way.”
“Our goals are extremely ambitious and I’m working to achieve them in my job. At the end of it I’m exhausted, and the one thing I don’t want to do is to wait in line for the machine.”
The feedback was effective and the CEO subsequently agreed to continue the city hall sessions. The most fascinating aspect of the exercise was that, even though the CEO was certainly taking the information seriously the thing he found most fascinating were the employees’ quotations from the verbatim transcripts. Why? Because these statements seemed real and immediately to him. He could see employees making these recommendations directly to him and felt the need to reply.
3. Learn you can say “no”
None of the people prior to Christy ever challenged their leaders. They always had what they wanted, however, they never got what their company or the employees wanted. Though leaders might believe they have the same knowledge as Christy about communicating Christy has the ability to alter the perception.
How, you might ask? by acting as the professional she is. Internal clients are quick request methods: “We need an email to convey X.” Christy can lead participants through the conversation by asking them questions regarding the objectives:
What are you hoping to accomplish?
What is the significance of this?
What are the most important things employees should be aware of?
Are any problems that could be raised?
By asking questions, you give Christy space to come up with solutions that fit into the strategy of communication.
4. Provide guidelines
Christy could improve the effectiveness of internal communications and help improve efficiency by establishing clear guidelines to support her approach. The guidelines will aid leaders in understanding the importance of every communication channel and can establish the same expectations for all channels.
The guidelines should outline the available communication channels as well as the reason for each of them, how they are used, and best methods to follow.
If a leader approaches Christy seeking another email she can explain clearly what the channel should be utilized for and provide an alternative method that is compatible with the overall strategy. The more Christy is able to bring back the rules, the more likely it is to modify the habits of leaders and stay with the communications strategy.
5. Prove the impact
The regular reporting of results will strengthen your argument over time. Christy may begin by gathering the baseline results using an online survey and the use of the metrics.
She could share this with the stakeholders through a single-page scorecard which highlights key findings. By sharing regularly, she can demonstrate the results of her work and help build enormous credibility.
Beyond internal measurements, Christy can provide perspectives regarding how her communications strategy is compared to other companies with:
Benchmarking–Understanding how other companies handle similar situations
Trends–Understanding best practices within her industry, such as how people are using technology
Through the use of all five of these strategies Christy can help her team members appreciate the importance of communicating and convince them to adopt her plan.