Your company story is important. Let the employees tell the story.
Corporate communication is complex. That’s because every organization has multiple audiences- employees, managers, stakeholders, and customers. Each of these has a unique need, level of interest and understanding of your organization. Not to mention, video is becoming the preferred method of communication and not everyone is camera-friendly.
For a long time, executives were the ones out front- the face of the company. That’s because many are under the false impression that the person with the title is the best one to communicate. That is not necessarily the case. In fact, today progressive companies are looking to broaden their communications and feature employees, at every level of the organization, in critical communications from recruitment efforts to customer messages. Here’s why.
Executives are Overused:
Some communicators believe that they need senior executives to “champion” a cause. They use executives to explain and promote everything from the diversity initiative to the recent sales program and much more. The problem is that these executive messages are often vague and simply don’t say much. How many times have you heard phrases like… “We need to be more open and transparent.” “We need to put the customer at the center of everything we do.” You get the idea. Executives should be used where they can speak authentically and specifically about a topic. They should be used to communicate valuable information about the organization and its structure, the financial outlook or the challenges of the future.
Employees Stories are Engaging — So Let the Employees Tell the Story:
Executives are clearly responsible for corporate culture. And, culture is important. It is directly tied to employee retention and job satisfaction. So how do you provide a window into your company culture? Companies are increasingly moving beyond executives and turning to employee features to bring the human perspective to the workplace. This includes everything from stories about why they love their work, volunteer activities, team achievements and more. These stories, both print and video, bring ideas to life, inspire others to achieve and foster understanding. And, I personally think these stories are more effective than an executive simply talking about culture. Employees are real people sharing real stories and that is powerful.
Employees who participate or are featured in communications have a more intense connection to the company. They are proud of the work they do and love to share their expertise. As a result, they are more engaged and motivated. Employee to employee communication can be a powerful endorsement of a company initiative. It can help encourage change and improvements. And, provide a forum for sharing best practices. It’s one thing to have an executive tout the company and quite another to have employees endorse it. Employee features are also a way to build engagement with customers. A story about how an employee built a product, went out of their way to serve a customer or help their community shows a different and more personal side of your organization.
Bottom line? Developing a communications plan that includes a diverse group, from the CEO to employees on the floor, can have tangible and lasting results both inside and outside of your organization.