L11: Leadership Through Strategic Internal Communication
Becoming a leader of a group or organization, leaders should treat every employee as someone who deserves to understand what’s going on in the enterprise. Communication with employees is one of the major responsibilities of an organizational leader. Effective internal communication provides organizational direction, employee motivation, as well as the achievement of the vision for the company. Employees are willing to do the best work if they trust and respect their leader.
This chapter focuses on establishing leadership through communicating effectively with an organization’s internal audiences. Leaders firstly have to recognize the strategic and cultural role of employee communication. It explains that employees should be well informed, and the leaders should realize the value of integrating communication into the organization’s overall strategy, planning processes, and day-to-day operations. All internal messages should align with and reinforce the organization’s goals and objectives, with the mission, vision, and guiding principles helping direct and define the culture and the operational, performance, and financial goals helping establish the expected results.
To build effective internal communication, messages need to be clear, consistent, and targeted. Therefore, the model is required as a framework for creating an internal communication strategy. The model should consist of supportive management. It means that all employees in leadership positions model the communication behavior they expect of those they supervise. Also, the model should contain the targeted messages that specific to the audience receiving them. However, only preferred channels to send communication may not reach all employees. The best result to distribute the messages is to communicate internal messages through several different media to reach all employees. Leaders need to look at the media, decide when different situations require different media, and survey employees to determine if they are receiving the intended messages through the selected media. Besides, to measure if the communication is effective, the model should include employee evaluation forms, which can evaluate the assessments of the employees.
At last, effective internal communications create an environment where members are engaged in the process, offer ideas that increase customer satisfaction, improve work processes as well as individual performance and experience a greater level of job satisfaction. Good internal communication enables the smooth operation of the organization, which depends on the leadership communication abilities to inspire, motivate, and guide employees to support their vision and their goals for the organization.
1. What’s the purpose of vision and mission?
· Establish a firm foundation of goals, standards, and objectives to guide corporate planners and managers
· Satisfy both company’s need for efficiency and employees’ need for group identity
· Inspire individual action, determines behavior, and fuel motivation
· Provide direction to keep everyone moving in the same direction
2. What are the Objectives of effective employee communication?
· Educate employees in the company vision and strategic goals
· Motivate support for company’s strategy
· Encourage higher performance and discretionary effort
· Limit misunderstandings that may damage productivity
· Align employees behind company’s strategic objectives and position them to help achieve them.
3. What are the steps in building effective mission and vision?
Build the mission and vision from the inside out, using one of the following approaches:
Ø CEO/leader developed
Ø Leader-senior team visioning
Ø Bottom-up visioning
Create the initial draft
Of the mission by
- Defining what you do
- Identifying the core products or services
- Determining your value proposition
Of the vision by
ü Deciding what the company wants or can become
ü Establishing the critical success factors in the marketplace
ü Identifying strengths and weaknesses
ü Clarifying the company’s opportunities and threats
Clarify the meaning
v Tell the world in 25 words or less what you are and want to become
v Develop the strategic objectives to make the vision specific and actionable
v Create a “final” version and hold meetings with employees to test it