[tweetmeme]The buck stops with the CEO when it comes to employee engagement. This is especially true when it comes to trust and believability. For internal communications to be meaningful, it is important for the CEO and his executive team to lead by example: “Don’t just do as I say, do as I behave.” Most employees are craving leadership – they want champions they can trust to lead them in new directions.
The CEO must also be the CCC – Chief Communication Champion of the company. As I’ve written before, she needs to ensure that other executives are truly leading the development of a Culture of Communication – meaning that all corporate communications are reliable, truthful, timely and contain the full story. The CEO should establish a system of rewards and incentives to instill new behaviors. A healthy two-way communication will lead to better performance. For employees to be truly engaged with the company and each other, they need to know that:
• The CEO is the visible leader of corporate communication
• Executive behavior in support of positive communication is rewarded
• Employees are rewarded fairly
• The company values employees and actively engages them as brand advocates for the company in customer interactions and on social media networks
During bad times – such as layoffs, a hostile takeover, a product recall – those CEOs who are truly CCCs will have earned the trust and commitment of employees to work through any crisis.