In Tribe’s latest research and client work, we’ve found that more employees are feeling disconnected with leadership due to lack of visibility. Your CEO’s name is out there. It’s on company memos, letters, and most outward facing messaging. You employees might know the name, but could they point him or her out in a crowd?
Putting a face to a name should be more than an amenity. It’s a proven cognitive function that helps people empathize and respond to a someone’s message. Faceless communication is cold and distant, there’s no denying that, and that could be hurting your internal communications. Here are a few little things that could help employees put a face to a name and make your leadership’s messaging stick.
1) Pictures in email signatures. This solution may come across as a bit goofy or outdated, but it comes directly from a survey respondent, and it’s really a simple solution for a major problem. It seems that at this particular employee’s company, there was a change in leadership. The employee immediately felt a disconnect from the new team, and regarded their messaging as distant and disengaging. The previous executive team had included pictures in their email signatures, and the new one did not. To this particular employee, that was the only major difference in the two’s communication tactics, but it made a huge impact on her impression of the new executive team.
2) Executive Blogs. Of course you’ll have to include a picture on here to get the full effect, but this goes a long way in adding another dimension to your executive team. It gives leadership a chance to talk about the company and be informative but in a more informal way. A more conversational voice and tone helps to reveal the person behind the position, and when it comes to communicating big company changes, employees can feel like they’re getting their information right from the source. It’s a win-win.
3) Video addresses or conferences. This is certainly the most expensive of the three tips, but it can go a long way in engaging employees. Instead of sending out a companywide memo, send a video with a member of the executive team talking about the topic. Hearing that leader’s voice, seeing their face and their mannerisms elicits empathy from employees and has a more emotional appeal than static text ever could. If employees feel engaged and connected to leadership, the messaging will undoubtedly be more effective.