In this challenging time the most successful leaders are winning the battle for their team(s) discretionary effort by maintaining alignment through effective communication.
The importance of your communication is magnified in times of crisis or uncertainty. It is crucial to your team alignment and critical for your success in a constantly changing environment.
Your team are hungry for information. They want collaboration, peace of mind, a focus on opportunities and leadership transparency. However, knowing what to do is not enough. A lot of companies I work with continue to struggle with mastering internal communication. All will acknowledge that communication is important and recognise that communication directly impacts all company outcomes. No leader has ever pushed back on the communication benefits of improved productivity, better engagement, increased job satisfaction, higher employee retention, shared knowledge or team alignment.
What I often get pushback on is whether team members actually feel engaged or aligned. When challenged that their team is like any other, yearning for alignment, I get the response about how “we’re different: ‘Our industry is different, our business model different, and you know, it’s true for them but not for us.’”
All this pushback comes from leaders with no real proof. Leaders that haven’t implemented internal employee surveys or satisfaction scores. Yet this blind assessment of alignment is like stating that your customers are extremely happy and satisfied with your products and services without ever asking your customers what they think.
According to Forbes the definition of employee engagement is “the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.” These employees care about their work, their company and are aligned on behalf of the business’s goals. They even use discretionary effort to help deliver the company’s results.
Your options for creating alignment are constantly changing, and technology can help. Three quick steps I recommend to clients for great engagement are:
- An employee engagement survey
- Creating culture committees and events
- Using internal messaging and collaboration tools eg: Slack or Whatsapp
Whatever steps you embark on, start by reflecting on your own leadership style, and what else you can to do to communicate better and gain team alignment.