Last year my friend Steve started a new job and faced communication challenges right from the beginning: Team members weren’t used to operating remotely, so it was tough to get the information Steve needed to do his work.
Since then, communication between team members has improved, but there’s a new issue: The organization has introduced a new business strategy that nobody understands. Leaders sent a couple of lengthy emails to explain the strategy, but those emails haven’t been enough to engage a remote workforce. As a result, employees are confused about where they fit in and how they can support the new strategy.
The truth is this: Emails aren’t going to cut it. Instead, you need to use a mix of communication channels. Here’s how:
1. Start with managers
To successfully communicate a business strategy, you need to set managers up for success. Afterall, when employees hear about the strategy, the first person they’ll approach with questions is their manager.
Create a manager toolkit that includes detailed information, FAQs, key talking points and PowerPoint slides. But don’t just send the toolkit; invite managers to a meeting where they can experience the strategy and ask questions. This will ensure that managers are up to speed and can address employees’ concerns.
2. Make a movie
When communicating a new business strategy, you need to tell a compelling story. Employees also want to know the why behind the decisions and the expected end result.
The answer: Create a video that conveys the story of the business strategy, focusing on employees’ roles and how they can help. Show the video at a town hall, post it on the intranet and adapt it into short snippets that can be used by managers at their meetings.
3. Think infographic
Employees don’t have time to read lengthy communication and often grow tired of seeing the same types of messages. That’s why you need eye-catching visuals to grab employees’ attention.
An infographic is a great way to reinforce key aspects of the strategy and make it accessible to employees. Post the infographic to your intranet and create a version that employees can keep on their desktop or print out.
By using these non-email communication techniques, you’ll be prepared the next time you needs to communicate your organization’s business strategy.