No matter how much time and effort goes into your business strategy, it won’t be successful unless it’s properly communicated to your employees. But that’s easier said than done.
Imagine you have plans to grow your restaurant in 2021. You’ll be expanding from your original location to a larger space. In order to be successful, your team will need to help grow your customer base so the second location receives heavy traffic. Along the journey to expansion, is your team aware of their part to play?
Effective communication of your business strategy should be inclusive of every employee — from front of house workers to staff working behind the scenes. If you manage a business with hopes to grow this year, read on to discover eight effective communication goals for your business strategy.
1. Lead with a mission
Your mission is the company’s reason for existence. If your business is open purely for financial gain, your employees may feel less connected to their work. You should communicate the company’s mission in a way that is simple and relatable to all employees. Sharing your mission — or your why — with employees helps them to connect to something deeper.
Take a cue from Zoey Henderson of Fungtn, the UK's first range of adaptogenic non-alcoholic beers. Fungtn is a 0.5% craft beer range with a difference — vegan, gluten-free, and brewed with functional mushrooms.
“My business, as my lifestyle does, has to be a reflection of my values,” says Zoey. “As we scale globally, we will contract brew in territories to reduce shipping and freight, use local (national/regional) core ingredients where possible, and ensure all our partners share our values.”
If you’re not yet leading with a mission, make it your goal to focus all of your communications around one so it’s top of mind for your team. Keep it visible on team emails, your website, or storefront. Whether you have a mission statement or general philosophy, keep your team inspired from their first day on.
2. Provide the big picture
In order for employees to appreciate your business strategy and competitive edge, they need to be aware of what is happening in your industry. Share the latest trends and insights with your employees to demonstrate how your business strategy is dealing with negative changes and making the most out of positive opportunities.
For example, a retailer can discuss how they’re positioning themselves to take advantage of the changes in consumer behavior in relation to online shopping. Encourage managers to share these developments and insights with their teams in an accessible way.
Make it a goal to practice ongoing education and transparency around your industry. Your employees will feel motivated to contribute their own findings as they learn more about ongoing trends.
3. Cascade your messages
Your team might be overwhelmed if they’re receiving too much at once. Create a goal to prioritize your messages by importance. At the top, share positive wins with your team like hitting targets and exceeding numbers. Inspiring messages help employees feel unified with your success.
Next, you can share educational messaging around the best ways to support your strategy. Is there a new skill they should be working on or protocol to be aware of? Give your employees plenty of time to plan around their personal lives if they need to make a time commitment.
Lastly, you can send reminders for reinforcement. Business strategies are complex and certainly not meant to be digested only once. Your mission and strategic vision need to be interwoven into training, human resources, and every other internal communication channel.
4. Make yourself available
Even though it can be difficult to meet with everyone on your team, try to set aside time for visiting your frontline staff. Because your time is valuable, showing up to see your busiest employees shows camaraderie and leadership. Show your team that you care by collecting their feedback and providing positive reinforcement.
You can also consider selecting senior employees to be representatives of your message. Peer-to-peer communication is an effective way of communicating your business strategy. Once you accomplish your goal of regularly checking up on your team, you can build levels of leadership to carry your message forward.
5. Share compelling stories
Bring your strategy to life with storytelling. Everyone can relate to a good story, so make it a goal to share your challenges and successes. When you cross a milestone or overcome an obstacle, tell everyone all about it. Your team can connect with your business strategy if they have concrete examples to learn from, like how you secured a deal with a local winery.
Stories will make your strategy more relatable to employees who may not connect with corporate figures and terminology. Storytelling should be a two-way process. Give your employees the opportunity to share their stories as well.
6. Invest in your employees
Your people are your power. Their job satisfaction and motivation should always be top of mind for you. Make it your goal to invest in their engagement and understanding of your business strategy. Their adoption of your strategic values will impact the way they relate to customers.
Maybe you need to spend your monthly all hands going over mission metrics, or need to enroll your staff in additional training. Perhaps you’d like to create an internal communication campaign. Whichever route you take, remember that your employees will always be more inspired when they have a better sense of your forward strategy.
7. Show, don’t tell
PowerPoint presentations alone will hardly cut it when trying to educate your staff about your business strategy. Today, business leaders are spoiled for choice with entertaining mediums to share information. Use social media or a collaboration tool that keeps everyone connected. You can also try games to keep people on their toes.
If you have so many ideas you can’t contain them, consider starting a blog. Instead of sending run-of-the-mill emails, write a blog that recaps team successes and provide insight on the state of business.
8. Stay humble
You’re not a perfect leader, and none of your employees expect you to be. Your employees are more likely to get onboard with your business strategy if they can relate to you as a person. Make it your goal to show some vulnerability in your communications.
As you share your business strategy, let your employees know when you’re uncertain or doubtful of challenges ahead. Even though you’re unsure of expanding into a new market during a pandemic, you’re embracing the risk because you believe in your team. This style of leadership can inspire empathy and will rally people to your side.
Every person matters
Creating and accomplishing your communication goals to align your team can be challenging.
But communication (and business) all come down to people. Make that communication easier when you share critical messages, documents, and videos in one place. Sign up for a free trial of Deputy to try it out.