Group Gordon’s Lexy Siegel shares more about why it is a critical time for companies to align their external and internal communications efforts and ensure their purpose and values are clear to all of their audiences.
During the pandemic, we’ve seen senseless murders and violence against communities of color, a volatile presidential election, an unprecedented riot on the U.S. Capitol, and bold announcements by leaders worldwide to fight against climate change, among other extraordinary events and developments. With the public watching these stories closely, businesses have had the opportunity, as well as the imperative, to publicly address these events and lead with purpose.
In recent years leaders at major corporations have met to discuss their opposition to bills that restrict voting rights, like the one passed in Georgia; and Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart tightened their policies on gun sales after a series of mass shootings across the country.
As companies continue to communicate and act on their values and purpose externally, they must also do so internally so that teams understand those goals, as well as their role in fulfilling them. What follows are tips to achieve effective internal communications.
Organizations have taken the time to reassess their missions and values and make external changes both big and small to reflect new priorities. Just as important is making adjustments internally. Take the time to consider how your company’s purpose is communicated internally and reflected in your operations and culture. Do your employees understand your stance on a particular issue? If not, determine the best platform to share that information on a consistent basis. Doing so will show clients, customers, and your employees that your words and actions are aligned in public and behind the scenes.
Ask your employees for their input on positions and actions the company takes to demonstrate its values and purpose. This can be done through more formal means, such as a company-wide meeting (or series of meetings), or more informal means such as email or Slack conversations on company channels. Requesting feedback and input will demonstrate to your team that you value their opinions and also likely result in greater employee engagement and retention.
Your organization’s purpose and values shouldn’t be determined in a top-down manner. Invest the time and energy to understand the causes your employees care about and encourage them to take the lead on company-wide initiatives. Whether it’s starting a recycling challenge for Earth Month or organizing donations to support communities of color, employees at every level can help the company live its values. Doing so will also create stronger bonds within teams and across your organization.
The challenges of the past year have greatly impacted organizations’ internal and external policies and positions. It’s never been more critical to take the time to ensure your purpose and values are clear to all of your audiences. Doing so will not only demonstrate to your clients and employees that you are serious about what you say you stand for, but will also likely result in enhancing company culture, attracting like-minded partners and clients, and earning a reputation of transparency, honesty, and accountability.