Magazine article Communication World

How Can Communicator Bridge the Gap between Executives and Employees?

Magazine article Communication World

How Can Communicator Bridge the Gap between Executives and Employees?

Article excerpt

SPAIN

Executives, as the name implies, spend most of their time "doing things." They are measured against objectives that show how much market share, sales, international expansion and so forth they've managed to achieve. Although executives recognize how important their organization's people are and the need to communicate with them, they often have trouble doing so in an effective and timely way. A lot of frustration and misunderstanding then occurs. Communicators need to counsel executives on how to do it--how to verbalize the messages that reflect the company's real objectives, how to pick the right channel and media to communicate, how to present themselves so that people will listen, how to anticipate the outcomes of communication and how to gather feedback.

ALMUDENA RODRIGUEZ

Madrid, Spain

AUSTRALIA

Sometimes as communicators we try too hard to come up with new ways to facilitate executive/employee communication, when so often the simple approach works best. One of the most effective ways that communicators can help bridge that gap and create greater employee buy-in has been linked to "Town Hall Forums."

Whenever there is a "Town Hall Forum," the CEO and the executive team spend time before the event visiting with employees. Now this is not for a formal morning tea; instead, they walk around departments and visit employees at the coalface, one on one. They sit with them, talk about projects they are working on and demonstrate real interest, sometimes asking for written proposals on the ideas that employees have. By the time the forum is held, employees and executives are more relaxed and there is a real sense of engagement. The pre-event discussions help foster a culture that encourages innovation, respects ideas from all levels and removes hierarchical barriers.

By recommending this approach, communicators can enhance their roles as strategic advisers to the executive team.

MARCIA XENITELIS

Melbourne, Australia

CANADA

Communicators are corporate translators, turning the broad, high-level vision of the CEO and management team into day-to-day realities for staff. Similarly, communicators facilitate easy, effective ways for employees to share their ideas and perspectives with management, identifying links to corporate goals and vision. …

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