Leaders can only lead through communication. We can’t delegate this.
Leaders need support, yes. Particularly senior leaders of large organisations. They’ve got lots on their plates and we should be empathetic to that.
But they can’t have a communications team do this entirely on their behalf.
Intranets are boring – Reason #2: Leaders are not communicating.
Leaders are leaders to communicate.
Communication means visibility and engagement.
Without it, your intranet is boring.
We need to see our leaders communicating, engaging, and collaborating.
Genuine leaders want to communicate effectively. They understand the power in communicating with authenticity and transparency.
Ready for the good news!?
Senior leadership has a significant role to play in fixing our boring intranets!
Fix #1: Leaders, Stop Hiding
Question: Are you leading if your voice is not heard?
I cannot lead effectively if I am delegating all my communication, hiding behind my internal comms team.
As a senior leader, it’s my responsibility to take the reins and drive impactful communication myself. I need to put myself out there. I need, and want, to be visible.
Otherwise, I’m not leading.
I need to be visibly communicating with, not to, my team. This is much more than simply pushing down messages – the infamous “cascade emails”.
Leadership isn’t giving orders from a distance. It requires engaging with your team and leading by example.
What’s needed is to enable a two way flow of information. I like to think of it being a back and forth, rather than down and…. maybe up again? Let’s be honest, how often does that actually happen!?
How do we know if a message has been well received, if we’re not actively listening?
How can we authentically solicit feedback, if we’re not visibly asking for it and collecting it transparently?
Be Visible and Engaging: Your teams need to see you actively engaging and communicating. Collaborate with your peers. Demonstrate your commitment to open dialogue. Foster a culture of teamwork and camaraderie. Leading by example means being visible and approachable.
Walk the Talk: Participate in discussions, share updates, and ask questions. Your presence will demonstrate your commitment to transparency and accessibility. By fostering two-way communication, you build trust and create a sense of belonging.
Be a Storyteller: Don’t just communicate information. Weave stories that captivate and inspire. Paint a vision of the future. Share personal anecdotes. Illustrate the impact of your team’s work. Creating an emotional reaction will ignite passion and engagement among your employees.
Fix #2: Leaders Are Human Too
We often talk about the tone of an intranet. Where does that tone come from, and who sets it?
Does your intranet have a personality? Does it embody authenticity and humanity?
It starts at the top, with how our senior leaders communicate.
Be Yourself: Share your personal journey, successes, and challenges in a compelling and relatable way. Avoid stock visuals! Use personal content that expresses who you are and how you see the world.
Celebrate Others: Highlight the achievements and contributions of your colleagues. Create a space to recognise and celebrate. Showcase their stories to inspire others and build a sense of camaraderie and motivation.
Listen and Respond: It’s not enough to push out messages. Actively listen to your employees’ perspectives, concerns, and ideas. Respond promptly with authenticity and transparency. Empathise, and address their needs. Even if you can’t provide what is being asked for. Make them feel heard and valued.
These are behaviours that create impact. Way beyond mere encouragement to share thoughts and suggestions.
Seek out great examples and willing senior leaders who would like to do better.
Find those eager to increase their visibility and impact.
Help them set the right tone. And how to demonstrate the expected behaviours to the rest of the organisation.
Remember, we’re all human!
Support each other. It won’t always be fair-weather sailing!
How big a shift would this mean for you on your intranet? Leave a comment and let us know!
If this is hold hat and you’re already doing most of it, let us know what is working!
Originally posted on Five30.am here: https://five30.am/fixing-boring-intranets-leaders-youre-not-leading-if-youre-not-communicating/