Here are some important truths to keep in mind: while 65 percent of companies have set corporate communications strategies, only 14 percent of their staff members truly understand their strategies, and less than 10 percent or businesses are able to successfully execute their strategies. Why is this the case, and does this mean that strategies are then not worth the effort?
In order to come up with strategies, and communicate them effectively to employees to achieve success, the one critical element that companies need to focus on is alignment. Alignment means allowing all efforts, resources, and objectives to merge and to follow one path. Alignment assures that everyone in the company understands what the purpose of work is, and, therefore, put all their efforts towards specific goals.
Here are some of the ways you can create corporate communications strategies that your employees can fully understand and align with:
1. Strategy Creation and Alignment
A number of organizations simply rely on their internal vision, mission and values when they concoct their corporate communications strategies. They simply adhere to the formulated objectives, instead of delving into what their clients and potential customers want. On the flipside, other businesses simply cater to what their consumers want and disregard their own values and objectives. In truth, in order for a business to be sustainable and successful, companies have to find a balance between internal and customer needs. This balance is achievable through alignment.
When creating strategies, here are the two important questions you need to ask: (1) What are you producing?, and (2) What will your clients purchase? Aligning these two questions and factors will mean a solid and viable foundation in which you build your strategies. If these two questions are not aligned from the get-go, your strategies then stand on shaky ground, leading you to either making adjustments as you move forward, or even scrapping all efforts and beginning again.
2. Strategy Communication and Alignment
Things become more complicated at this stage. Aside from having clearly defined corporate communications strategies that cater to your customers, you are going to have to make sure that you are able to communicate them to your employees effectively. Effective communication is extremely important at this stage because it enables your staff members to align their daily efforts and actions towards the direction you want to take the company in.
Organizations typically fail at this stage of the process due to the following reasons:
- Messages change as they are relayed from the top of the organization, to management, to regular staff members.
- When employees fail to see and comprehend what the strategies mean for them and their work, they won’t see the purpose of working towards the goals set by the organization.
- Very few people can understand how their job descriptions relate to the overall corporate communications strategies of the company.
- Strategies can be too complicated to be understood by all, and management may hesitate to simplify them.
3. Strategy Execution and Alignment
While the first two steps are the means to an end, falling short on this last step means efforts for the first two steps were futile. Aside from this truth, most companies will also end up damaging important factors that keep the company sustainable if they fail at this stage – factors such as trust and employee engagement.
In order to make sure that you are successful as possible in this stage, here are the following alignment behaviours you should be opting for:
- Differentiate what you offer from what other companies have to offer, so that you become the more attractive prospect for customers.
- Recognize and reward employees who adopt the new behaviours and decision-making approaches that you are promoting and encouraging.
- Be innovative based on the market you seek to cater to.
- No matter how difficult, choose to allocate limited resources towards the new processes and practices you want to promote.