I was once told, “You teach what you know, and they become who you are.” To put that another way: By communicating effectively, your company aligns with the vision you have for it.
As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to equip employees with the tools and knowledge to share that vision.
According to a Bersin and Associates study, companies that take a strategic approach to leadership development are 84 percent more effective in maintaining high employee and leader retention and promoting a high-performance organization.
At its essence, communication is education. Although it comes in a variety of forms, leveraging content is an easy way to streamline this process and inspire employees to take an active role in building your company.
For your business to succeed, its leadership needs to constantly work to advance its expertise and stay at the forefront of industry trends. But this knowledge also needs to be passed on to the rest of the company to ensure that leadership and the team are poised to move together as changes or opportunities arise.
Top-down communication not only sets the company up for long-term success, but it also boosts employee engagement. One study shows that 71 percent of U.S. employees aren’t fully engaged in their roles. The same study also pointed to three key drivers of employee engagement: relationships with managers, belief in leadership, and pride in their work.
Whether via a blog or some form of external distribution, circulating content packed with useful information will keep employees educated and informed about what’s happening in the market.
It’ll also assure them that senior leadership is on top of industry trends and prepared for not only making rapid change, but also leading it. Both your employees and your customers need to know that they’re following someone who’s actively influencing the market, not just reacting to it.
This responsibility doesn’t fall solely on leadership’s shoulders, either. Your workforce should help exchange resources and feedback and consume company content regularly to stay engaged and spark new ideas.
Producing and sharing content sets an example for employees and validates your company’s innovative ideas. It can also enhance leadership communication in a number of ways:
Essentially, content serves as an effective means of “show and tell.” It not only gives leaders a way to demonstrate their expertise, ideas, and passion, but it also “tells” (or educates) the audience about it. And when leaders leverage content that positions them as experts, that translates into company-wide credibility.
Whether it’s maintaining a blog, distributing internal emails, or asking employees to contribute content displaying their knowledge, the entire organization plays a role in this shared goal.
AJi Software is one company that capitalizes on content. It includes internal and external experts in posts on its company blog to educate its audience about industry trends. Plus, it runs an active blog that highlights industry leaders and pulls from their expertise, resulting in relevant industry articles on its site that serve as another means of education.
At Influence & Co., we help other companies with their content strategies, but we’re also dedicated to sharing content internally. Our company CEO, Kelsey Meyer, sends us articles on industry trends, competition, and areas of growth on a regular basis. This keeps our industry top of mind and pushes us to ask questions. Her emphasis on education encourages other employees to follow suit.
What methods do you use to educate employees? Feel free to share your techniques below. We’re always interested in hearing new ideas because — if I haven’t made it clear — education is everything.