Is your leadership communication as strong as your leadership thinks it is? When we begin an engagement with a new company, we sometimes find that the top executives think employees know things they don’t. Things that are important for alignment and engagement, like leadership’s vision for the company and their plans for its growth, or the values with which they want employees to do business and demonstrate leadership.
After all, the leadership team talks about this stuff all the time. To each other. They’re all sitting in the same meetings, seeing the same Powerpoints and having the same discussions. They know the vision, and they know how their department or division of the company is expected to contribute to that vision.
That insularity then creates a horizontal silo at the top of the organization. One of the challenges of most large companies is building communication across silos — whether those silos are separated by geography, business unit, brand or function — or the C-suite.
It takes a deliberate effort to cross these divides. In the course of their typical work days, the executive leadership team generally doesn’t get much chance to rub elbows with the folks on the manufacturing line, in the retail stores or even in the other corporate locations. (Here are some channels we find work well for leadership communications.)
In short, executive teams are talking to themselves. What’s needed is a strategic approach to communicating top management’s strategic direction and vision to people at all levels of the company. Without a strong effort to create channels of communication between top management and rank-and-file employees, it doesn’t happen naturally. And sometimes well-intentioned efforts fall short.
The other issue is that these executives are not hearing the views of employees outside the C-Suite. If there’s little to no communication directly from leadership to employees, then there’s probably not an established two-way communication channel either. So corporate management is missing out on all that employees could tell them. From suggestions and innovations to complaints and concerns. Both are useful for improving the company in a myriad of ways large and small.
Interested in establishing communication channels between your C-level and the rest of the company? Tribe can help.