Archive for employee communication

Social Media for the Human Resources Professional

Corporate HR departments can’t ignore social media and its impact on employees. Employees are on social media so how do you manage their participation?

Social Media for the HR, the largest social network and online community of HR executives, with 194,000 members, is holding a free webinar entitled Social Media and Employee Communications with two days of speakers on March 1st and 2nd.

As the webinar copy states, “powerful enough to fuel revolutions, the tools of social media can connect and enable employees to new levels of communication that enable productivity and alignment with business results.”

Empowering Employees As Brand Ambassadors

As my regular readers know, I’m a big supporter of organizations that engage their employees to serve as brand ambassadors for their companies. So, I will be one of the speakers. Here is a link to my talk at 12:30 on Friday, March 2nd. Read More→

Employee Engagement in 6 Words

[tweetmeme]You wouldn’t think you could define employee engagement in 6 words, but the Employee Engagement Network did its best in an eBook by that name that’s just been published.   You can download it by going to the group’s site.

The idea came from the memorable 6-word story written by Ernest Hemingway: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Those 6 words packed a real wallop — what was the back story; why weren’t they ever worn?

Employee Engagement Network members were asked for their definitions and over 120 members responded with their 6 words.  Of course, I contributed.  There were many really great definitions and I couldn’t list them all here.  But these are 25 that I found memorable:

v Treat people like people, not subjects.

v Engaged employees aren’t recruited, they’re created.

v Your individual genius helps us excel.

v I value your contribution, every day!

v Trust and empowerment creates engaged colleagues.

v Together we can change the world.

v Education + entitlement + enablement equals real engagement!

v Bring out the best in people!

v Opportunity: Customer available – engaged applicants preferred.

v I truly want to be here.

v Respect diversity. Foster collaboration. Honour commitments.

v Why engage employees? To engage customers.

v What legacy shall we create together?

v Feeling respected and connected. Great workplace!

v Potential is limitless when people care.

v Engagement begins with the employee experience.

v Give employees clear goals to accomplish.

v Determine and communicate outcomes, then empower.

v Organization success: it’s the people, stupid!

v Value your people. Reap the rewards.

v Adding value, being valued. That’s it!

v I asked, you suggested, we conquered.

v Can I help you to improve?

v Purpose, partnership, passion; in that order.

Now, dear readers, I invite you to comment with your 6 words that define employee engagement.

What CEOs Can Learn About Employee Communications From the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”

iStock_Trumpet player5668XSmall(2)I just returned from a joyous concert by the U.S. Army’s “Pershing” Band, as it is known, that was in town for its annual concert at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.   As I sat there with friends tapping my feet and applauding every brassy patriotic song, I thought what a great lesson I was learning about communications.  And that’s this:  when you communicate with joy, you turn an audience into your biggest fans.

And there was no doubt the musicians were having as much fun as the audience.  At the end, the Band played the anthem for each of the service branches and one by one young and grizzled veterans stood proudly while the audience cheered wildly.

I thought:  let’s pretend the bandleader is a company CEO.  He’s leading his musicians with infectious joy.  Wow, it’s great to work for this company.  Is there any employee who won’t want to follow?  How about making it a point to write to employees whenever there is some good news to report – big or small.  Don’t let every communiqué be about the next layoff or we’ve all got to tighten our belts again.  Your employees know that things may be rough in the company, unless they’ve got their heads in the sand, which is doubtful.

This is the truth:  bad news spreads via the grapevine faster than good news.  Fire just one person and before you know it the grapevine has translated that to more layoffs.  So, if you’re the CEO, make sure you feed the grapevine and your normal communications channels with all the good news you can.  It will make you feel better and your employees will become your loyal fans.

The CEO as the Chief Communication Champion

The shadow of a leader – meaning the impact an executive has on his or her employees – is always bigger than you think.  This is especially true when it comes to trust and believability in internal communications.  For internal communications to be meaningful, it is important for executives to lead by example: “Don’t just do as I say, do as I behave.”  In addition, employees in most companies 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.   S/he needs to ensure that other executives are truly leading the development of a Culture of Communication – meaning that all corporate communications are reliable, truthful and contain the full story.  The CCC needs to establish a Champion Program with rewards and incentives to instill new behaviors.  A healthy two-way communication culture will lead to better performance.  For the Champion Program to succeed, it must ensure that:

•    The CEO is the visible leader of corporate communications

•    Executive behavior in support of positive communication is rewarded

•    Communications ambassadors are created at all levels of company

During bad times – such as layoffs, a hostile takeover, a product recall – those CEOs who are truly CCCs will have already gained the trust and commitment of employees to work through any crisis.