Does your CEO believe that employee engagement is important? Perhaps because Tribe works with so many different large corporations on internal communications and employee engagement, we’re often asked what makes such a program successful. Recently, at a client’s leadership conference, I was reminded of the true answer to that question.
The key to successful employee engagement, and the internal communications that bolster that engagement, is having an executive leadership team that makes it a business opportunity. If top management is behind it, that makes all the difference. If, on the other hand, leadership considers it a “nice to have,” then it’s an uphill battle all the way.
Last week several of us from Tribe spent the day with the leadership team of a banking client. About 75 of their company’s leaders were gathered there, to hear from the executive leadership team about the launch of a new cultural initiative that has the potential to transform the company.
It was an incredible experience to be in the room when this cultural program was introduced by the CEO, the president and a few other executive leaders. They were completely engaged, so the leaders working under them became completely engaged. The leadership team took ownership of this program in a matter of minutes and immediately got to work in breakout sessions, hammering out the details of how to bring it to life with their own people. The energy in the room was palpable, and it started at the top.
The priorities of an organization are set at the top. When executive leadership sees employee engagement as a key strategy to gain and keep competitive advantage, these are the sorts of things that happen:
• They see funding internal communications channels and programs as money well spent to achieve key business objectives rather than discretionary spending.
• They see investing their own time in blogs, site visits, videos and other ways of sharing their vision as showing respect to employees rather than showcasing their egos.
• They see establishing channels and processes for employees to have a voice as a source of valuable innovative ideas rather than just a forum for complaints.
• They see their internal communications professionals as trusted advisors who can help them impact the future of their companies.
That’s when this industry is most rewarding, and when we can achieve significant results. I’m looking forward to seeing the acceleration of success for this bank whose executive team is driving engagement.