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September 3, 2021
3 min
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Communicate Better: Only 14% of Your Employees Understand Your Company Strategy

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This blog was originally written by Bill Cushard on November 17, 2016

Communicating important messages and inspiring people into coordinated action is a significant challenge for executives. Imagine the nightmare scenario in which most employees do not know the mission of the company and do not understand what they should be doing to help the company achieve its goals. Few issues keep executives up at night, more than that, right?

What makes this nightmare scenario worse is that it is not a nightmare at all. It is happening in companies right now. All over the world.

Every. Single. Day.

WL FY22Q1 Communicate Better blog infographic

Mind the Gap

As Stephen Covey makes strikingly clear, this gap between understanding and execution hinders a company’s ability to grow. Covey cites a study that shows:

  1. Only 15% of employees understand the organization’s top goals.
  2. Of the people who know the top goals, only 19% are bought into those goals.
  3. People only spend 49% of their time working towards those goals.
  4. 51% do not understand what they can do to help achieve the company’s goals.

Covey uses an analogy of a sports team to bring this problem home. Imagine if most players on a sports team do not understand the purpose or strategy of the game. Would that team ever win? Unlikely.

To avoid the execution gap, executives should identify how to effectively communicate the mission, goals, and strategy of the organization to help employees understand the goals and their role in achieving them.

Level Up Leadership Communications

Communications expert and author of The Power of Presence Kristi Hedges leads a Harvard Business Review webcast, “Getting work done through distributed teams, virtual workforces, and flattened hierarchies requires having outstanding strategic communications abilities." She discusses the five required abilities:

  1. Creating an intentional presence
  2. Being able to get buy-in
  3. Delivering executive briefings
  4. Connecting with distributed teams through virtual leadership
  5. Giving and receiving direct feedback

When I think about these communication skills, I imagine the executive trying to figure out how to apply these skills.

Creating an Intentional Presence

In this blog, I'm going to focus on ability #1 - Creating an intentional presence. Though not exactly how Hedges describes it, an executive can create a presence throughout the organization in several ways using Workplace from Meta.

Create Dialogs Not Monologues

For starters, an executive can spend just a few minutes a day, scrolling through the newsfeed to see what people are working on. By occasionally “liking” a post or commenting on a conversation, an executive can show presence in a variety of teams, locations, and levels. This simple act shows people the executive is paying attention and is accessible no matter where they are. At the same time, the executive can reinforce the company mission, offer support for projects, and also question the importance of some work in the context of the mission.

Engage with Live Video

Forrester research shows that employees are 75% more likely to watch a business video than read the written document, and video makes it easier to deliver complex messages.

The best company mission and strategy are laser focused and clear.  Execution, however, is often more complex and requires ongoing, effective communications.  Video, especially live video, accomplishes this with a greater sense of immediacy and stronger employee engagement.

Learn more about Rob’s favorite, tried-and-true ways to use live-streaming video to communicate company mission, strategy and goals, and to create a shared sense of purpose, improve connections, and encourage authentic employee engagement.

GROWTH FY22Q1 7 Ways to w livestreaming Workplace

Communicate Better Now

Improving communications is critical for enabling organizations to close execution gap between company goals and people's work towards them.

A single tool is not the whole solution, but the right tool can be a game changer.  Learn more about how Workplace from Meta and ServiceRocket can help you drive understanding of the company strategy, employee engagement and reduce the execution gap.

Learn more about how Workplace from Meta and ServiceRocket can help you drive employee engagement and collaboration.

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