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Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast? Part 1 of 4
A four part series on some of the major factors that can either feed or starve your strategic direction.
As a discipline, Employee Communications is like the music class of public education. It is understood to be a valuable part of a child’s education but when budgets get tight or things get busy, it has an unfortunate tendency to drop down in the priorities list.
If you come to the end of your business year and find that the only thing your strategy has gathered is dust, spend some time considering where Employee Communications fits in your day-to-day activities.
What exactly is Employee Communications?
The British Columbia-based intranet software company Thoughtfarmer specializes in improving employee communications. They posted a blog on their site last year where they reviewed 40 different definitions of employee communications. In the end, they decided to draft their own, and they began with the “why”:
To align employees to company strategy,
To maximize impact, value, and performance, and
To develop employees' emotional commitment to the organization and its goals so they get involved and contribute insights to both the business output and the culture.”
According to Thoughtfarmer, “these outcomes are achieved through the discipline of “systematically informing, influencing, motivating, and engaging people at all levels of the company.”
Culture and Strategy go hand-in-hand.
The intranet company Jostle notes: “each announcement, message, news update, CEO blog article, etc. plays a role in how your people interpret the cultural landscape of your organization: what it stands for, who it values, why its mission matters. Your company culture is the sum of its parts, and good internal communications takes this into account.
Essentially, having a sound strategic plan is good. Ensuring your team, at every level, is aware of the strategy and knows how their role fits within the strategic plan is even better. Formally, regularly and intentionally engaging your employees in the strategic direction and progress is essential if you want every member of your team pulling together toward a common set of goals.
While your organization may be large enough to delegate the role of internal communications to another member of senior management, employee communications must be an essential part of every leader’s job description.
And when your organization is at its busiest, the budget at its tightest, or faced with any number of pressure points that come up during a strategic cycle, these are likely the moments when your employees need to feel connected to leadership and direction most.
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