Of course they know—they’re the ones who created these plans. They know this stuff so well, inside and out, that they are operating with the “curse of knowledge” Chip Heath and Dan Heath reference in their book Made to Stick.That curse can make it hard for leadership to realize that the information they use constantly isn’t common knowledge to everyone else in the organization. Because they know, it feels natural that everyone knows. So they see no need for an intentional internal communications plan. They think it’s redundant. A waste of resources.
But internal customers often don't know their vital role in helping move their brand forward. No one has told them. They need purpose. With a clear and well-defined purpose, they're focused and unified. They’re no longer a team member in name only.
When a brand has internal customers "on fire" with purpose, the results can be impressive. Greater talent attraction and retention, and a better bottom line—doesn’t everyone want that?
How does your brand stack up on employee purpose? Having a mission statement isn't nearly enough.
Here are some questions to help you evaluate how well you're engaging everyone in your organization:
- Is our business plan (at least a summary) readily available to employees online or in printed form?
- Are we asking for meaningful individual contributions to reaching our goals?
- Do we have an annual employee meeting or retreat to share benchmarks and results?
- Do we send out updates to our employees at least quarterly?
- Can we share updates in multiple media: online, printed, special events, etc. to accommodate different learning styles?
- Do we have multiple locations? If so, do we have strong intra-office sharing and collaboration tools?
- Is HR able to articulate our purpose and vision when they’re recruiting?
- Do we have orientation procedures that include our purpose and vision?
- Is our purpose part of our everyday conversations?
- Do employee performance reviews include evaluations of how they’re executing on the purpose?
If you’re answering no to a lot of these questions, it’s time to put some emphasis on your internal communications. You need action steps, and you need them ASAP. They may not be FOR you. But there’s great ROI to be realized—and that is for everyone.