Internal Communications doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Internal communicators aren’t the only ones that provide information to employees (if only! Kidding…mostly). Managers have arguably the biggest impact on an individual employees’ knowledge and impression of a Company. For corporate communicators, it’s critical to focus on the quality and mentality of your people leaders.
Are they sharing important messages with their employees?
Do they have the right attitude?
Are they champions of your brand?
Do they live your company’s values?
Employee behavior is clearly under the purview of Human Resources, but that shouldn’t exclude you from the conversation. It should come as no surprise (to anyone) that communication is a critical skill for leaders. Corporate Communications should work hand-in-hand with HR and Talent teams with the shared goal of ensuring leader effectiveness.
To start to do that, you’ll want to assess your people leaders on their communications skills. Do your people leaders’ …
Communications have clear calls to actions or set expectations on behavior? Don’t just tell them what, tell them how.
Have communications that are engaging and authentic? We’re dealing with people, not robots.
Share consistent and anticipated communications with their teams? If the leader stops communicating, will they notice?
Once you get a feel for how your people leaders lead people, you can start to develop the guidelines that fit your business. Some leadership communications best practices could include:
Consistent manager team meetings – Do your managers gather their teams together at least monthly to share what’s going on the Company? Do they connect their direct reports to their role in the “big picture” of the organization?
Informal engagement opportunities with leaders – Are your leaders visible in a way that would let employees easily come up and chat about the weather, their kid’s soccer game or perhaps a critical operations issue that needs to be addressed?
Leaders should be directly involved with the planning and execution of important communications activities.
People leader performance should be directly tied to the Company’s engagement scores.
For more information on how you can develop effective people leader communications measurement and training, reach out to us. We’d love to chat!