Getting your inside people onside

How to get buy-in to your business strategy through effective internal communications.

The way businesses communicate with their people has changed dramatically over the last couple of years – probably for ever.

All organisations need to share their vision of the future with their people. Getting buy in to that vision is often what makes the difference between success and failure.

With so much change and uncertainty, the need for clarity of vision and effective internal comms is greater than ever. Many organisations are rethinking their strategies and their place in the world in response to the major global challenges we’re all facing.

But research shows that around three-quarters of change management strategies fail. It isn’t always obvious to business leaders where they’re missing the mark, but this is often the result of ineffective internal communication.

Clearly communicating your place in the world and why you exist will be vital in keeping your people engaged in what you’re trying to achieve and, more importantly, why you’re doing it, in a post-pandemic world.

Businesses have rapidly embraced digital communication platforms, but where do we go from here in terms of employee engagement now that home working is such a part of the day job for so many of us?

How do you keep employees and leaders engaged with business strategy in a rapidly changing world? What will help drive businesses through the next phase of disruption? And what new ways of working and communicating with employees will be most effective?

Here are 10 ways to ensure you get people behind your strategy:

Talk the right language to the right people
Clarity of message plays a critical role in engaging teams in a vision and uniting them behind it. Be decisive, straightforward and transparent. Understand your different internal audiences and adapt communication patterns and styles accordingly.

Carry on cascading
Assign clear communication responsibilities and give team leaders the tools they need to cascade key messages effectively, particularly if they’re managing people and teams remotely rather than face to face.

Build internal communities
Seed pertinent conversations and encourage online dialogue between diverse teams to create empathy and shared understanding.

Make it fun
Gamification can be the light touch needed to engage people, as well as gathering useful insights.

Find the right channels
Keep exploring new disruptive channels and platforms alongside the expected. There’s a wealth of new apps and tools to experiment with.

Don’t be scary
Hitting the right tone of voice is essential. Be careful with trigger words that can turn off and alienate: ‘transformation’ and ‘innovation’ are powerful words when used in the right context but can also intimidate.

Maintain the dialogue
Don’t ‘launch and leave’. Keep up the momentum, have a campaign plan and drive home key messages at key times to maintain impetus.

Tap in to user generated content
Make the most of the ease of content created by teams on their smartphones to keep conversations alive.

Make it clear and honest
Business strategy is multi-faceted and nuanced, but a well executed, simple and clear comms plan builds understanding. Make sure you address key questions like: What do I have to do? What will success look like? and What’s in it for me?

Ensure flexibility as standard
Fixing timescales to plans is tough in a fast changing business landscape. Hard-wire flexibility into your employee comms while supporting the over-arching purpose.

For further information, or to discuss your specific brand or communication challenges and how we can help, talk to us.

See how we put this thinking into practice…