Internal communication has never been more important than during the COVID-19 crisis and the work-at-home reality.
My wife Meredith was the head of corporate communication at Bare Escentuals for many years. She was at the forefront of what is now commonly known as “values-based, purpose-driven culture.” Meredith would regularly share with me the importance of crafting both an internal and external communication plan because investors and employees have different needs and wants.
It seems so obvious, right? But, a lot of business leaders have gotten to where we are without developing skills that speak effectively to employees and internal stakeholders. That needs to change more than ever.
I was recently inspired by a podcast from my friend and coach Barbara Shannon. Barbara is the host of "The Good Company Podcast" and is a thought leader and business coach for CEOs that want to build values-based, purpose-driven companies.
In her recent podcast, Barbara remarks that the core topics of interest for your board, investors and the media – customers, competition, productivity, growth strategy and revenue – rank very low for your employees in interest and engagement.
So, what is it that your employees want and need to know from you?
Barbara has 5 suggestions:
- The Why and How of your Business
- What’s Happening and What to Expect (now and next)
- That you Appreciate them by Name and For What
- You Know and have a Plan to Fix Company Problems
- You Want Honest Feedback
This is helpful guidance and a great start. If this topic interests you, I recommend Barbara’s podcast and her coaching.
“Sometimes there is a wide gulf between what business leaders are focused on and what employees want and need to hear. And that results in all kinds of miscues and misunderstandings. . . .”