Company Culture Series: Post 3 of 5

Culture- Building Communication

Even the best plans will fall apart without proper communication. This post will explore how to communicate your goals to your employees so that it resonates.

Refine Your Message

While you may be brimming with ideas, it’s important to keep an elevator pitch handy to win people over. Too often, leaders get lost in communicating their ideas to a team by focusing on details and failing to deliver the greater message.

Say, for example, you had 30 seconds to sell someone a new model of vacuum cleaner that was whisper quiet. Would you spend the first 20 seconds explaining the process of innovation or the materials used to craft it? No. While that information could be interesting to the prospective customer, you want to spend your limited time getting them to imagine cleaning floors without the loud wailing of a conventional cleaner.

Apply this principle to your message. At the end of the day, what problems are your employees facing and how is this process going to solve them? Focusing on employee retention, for example, can help your existing team avoid the chaos of sudden resignations and the frustration of retraining. If you wanted to pitch this idea, it could sound like the following:

“Over the next year, we’re going to be retooling our culture to focus on keeping our workers so that you have a team you can depend on.”

From here, you can branch out to the specific efforts you will be taking to meet this goal.

Wrangle your champions

The next step is to cobble together a group that is most suited to promoting your vision from each department in your company. Use this team as a focus group for your message and plan. Try to engage every member of this group, as this will make them more invested in your goal if they can see their contributions, but make sure not throw your plan completely off track in the process.

Once you have refined your message, make sure you share as much information with this team as possible. You want them to be subject matter experts on your plan so that they can help implement your changes on an individual level. To make sure your messaging is on point, it may be worth holding regular meetings with this team to get company-wide feedback.

Expand your audience

Once you’ve refined your message and found your advocates, the next move is to move on to the workplace in general. If your company is small but growing, you’ll likely still be able to hold a company-wide meeting in a single place to articulate your vision directly.

Depending on the size of your undertaking, you may only need to dedicate a portion of time to form a regular company-wide meeting (assuming you hold these) for this project. If your goal is ambitious, however, you may want to dedicate an entire meeting to getting everybody on board. Neither approach is inherently superior, but make sure you are not bogging down your employees for hours with unnecessary details or speeding through a fifteen-minute summary that leaves your staff baffled. Just remember that a good presentation is exactly as long as it needs to be to clearly explain to your audience what problem exists, how the company will resolve it, and how it will benefit them. Let your team roll out the steps in the coming weeks and keep your staff updated periodically on the company’s progress while encouraging feedback.

Our next article will explore how you can bring out the best in your staff though encouragement and opportunities for growth.

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