Leadership communication describes the approach you need to develop and deliver messages that inform, inspire, engage, and unite teams towards achieving your business goals. Effective leadership communication has a clear and critical impact on your organization’s success.
Whether you’re running a laundromat, tech startup, or the next big marketing agency, it’s essential to find the right leadership approach. You need to understand how to motivate your team, develop their strengths, and help them address their weaknesses.
All that is achieved through effective leadership communications…
But with the field of communications changing rapidly, how do you know which strategies will work best for you and your team?
To answer that question, we’ll look at the top 10 leadership communication trends you need to be following. But first, let’s briefly define leadership communication and see why getting it right is vital for your organization’s success.
Before we dive into the leadership communication trends your business must follow, let’s briefly look at a few benefits of effective leadership communication.
Statistics show that 8 out of every 10 employees have had miscommunications at their place of work. Even in the best-case scenario, this will cause delays in the workflow. In the worst-case scenario, you could create hostility amongst coworkers.
Mistakes are bound to happen when no leader takes the reins of office communication and promotes a collaborative environment.
The results of the leadership vacuum are:
- Loss of productivity
- Your employees losing trust in you
- Employee dissatisfaction and high churn
Reduces Office Stress
Another benefit of effective leadership communication is that it helps reduce office stress.
With your employees spending most of their day in the workplace, work-related stress is one of the biggest challenges they may face. And poor communication is one of the most significant contributors. Research shows that about 33% of workers have considered quitting because of frustrations caused by poor communication in the workplace.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
Leadership communication plays a massive role in the efficiency of workers. A good leader works on ensuring that information flows freely from management to frontline workers. Not only that, but they also prioritize clear communication. As a result, there’ll be no need for back-and-forth conversations fueled by the need for employees to understand a message better.
The result of free-flowing and clear communication is an efficient workforce. And your organization will also benefit from the increased productivity that comes with efficient employees.
Helps You Build Your Brand
The way you relate to your employees determines how they view you and the way they’ll respond to you. It also determines how your superiors and recruiters view you. In short, your leadership communication skills have a significant bearing on your branding. Your leadership brand creates awareness about what you stand for as a leader. It also influences how you inspire and equip your employees.
In summary, effective leadership communication results in:
- Your employees operating at optimum levels
- An increase in employee engagement
- A workplace culture that thrives on open and transparent communication
It’s important to note that communication is two-way. As a leader, part of effective communication is getting feedback from your employees. Whether it’s poor scheduling or inept issues with contractors, listening to employees (your eyes and ears in the office) and adjusting policies based on their input is the best way to optimize company efficiency.
Ready to take your leadership communication to the next level?
Top 10 Leadership Communication Trends for Success
- 1. Developing an Internal Communications Strategy
- 2. Power Up Internal Communications with Digital Enablement
- 3. Activating and Engaging Employee Engagement
- 4. Team Building Exercises
- 5. Design an Efficient Internal Content Marketing Strategy
- 6. Promote a Collaborative Workplace Culture
- 7. Encourage 1-on-1 Conversations
- 8. Invest in Knowledge Management
- 9. Empower Your Employees to Be Brand Ambassadors
- 10. Leverage Surveys and Quizzes to Know Your Employees Better
1. Developing an Internal Communications Strategy
One of the leading communications trends that have picked up pace in recent years is developing (or fine-tuning) an internal communications (IC) strategy. This is a set of processes, rules, and guidelines that define the flow of information in an organization.
Your internal communications strategy will lay the foundation for disseminating information from top management to your frontline workers. It also determines the reverse — how effectively feedback is passed on from your employees to top management.
Leaders from all over the world have started to appreciate the value of having an IC strategy. And because of this, it has become one of the fastest-growing trends in leadership communications.
2. Power Up Internal Communications with Digital Enablement
Digital enablement in communications is one of the fastest-rising trends in leadership communications. Digital enablement is where organizations empower employees to communicate and equip them with the necessary tools openly.
Whether working remotely or on-site, technology has made it easier for teams to communicate effectively with peers and supervisors. That’s why digital enablement has been a fast-growing trend in leadership communications. You must invest in technology to ensure information is shared efficiently, from meeting management software to contract management software and everything in-between.
To know which communications tools are suitable for your organization, you must determine which communication styles best suit your needs. For best results, you must ensure you have communications tools that cater to synchronous and asynchronous communication. But keep your tools to a bare minimum. Too many tools will complicate your communications and lead to some messages falling through the cracks.
To effectively communicate with your team as a leader, you must create a tool stack that facilitates easy internal communication.
3. Activating and Engaging Employee Engagement
One of the main priorities of leaders in the workplace is to keep employees engaged. Employee engagement refers to the extent to which employees are passionate and committed to their jobs. Engaged employees are more productive, while disengaged employees can cost you as much as $16,000 per year each.
That’s why engaging employees is one of the leading trends in leadership communication.
One way effective leadership communication helps in this regard is by encouraging quality conversations in the workplace. Communication is essential as it helps build trust, develops empathy, and encourages openness in the workplace. The result is healthy relationships and high employee satisfaction rates — both are factors that are critical to ensuring your employees are engaged.
4. Team Building Exercises
The primary function of leadership is to build effective teams. Therefore, team building must be one of the ultimate goals of all leadership communications.
That’s where team-building exercises come in.
Remember, your employees are human beings and not robots. Because of that, they need some activities that help break the monotony of work. Team building exercises help you do that and more.
The primary benefits of team-building exercises include:
- Help build confidence
- Develop trust between team members and leadership
- Encourages team members to be open
Schedule time regularly for team-building exercises. Team building will help improve you and your team’s communication skills and, of course, boost your productivity.
5. Design an Efficient Internal Content Marketing Strategy
While you may not communicate in person with your team regularly, you should still communicate with them often. One of the best ways to do that is to create a strategy for your internal content.
While content plays an essential role in communications, the sad part is most internal content gets ignored by employees. And that’s precisely why you must design an efficient content strategy focused on driving employee engagement.
A few ways to drive employee engagement include:
- Create personalized content. Content that your employees can relate to and find useful.
- Use storytelling. Just because you’re in a corporate setting doesn’t mean your content should be bland.
- Leverage user-generated content. Allow your employees to share their stories. People prefer content from other people over content from the organization.
An effective internal content marketing strategy will improve how your employees engage with your content. It will also help you foster a culture of knowledge and information sharing. As a leader, this is important as it results in information flowing freely through your organization.
So, give your internal content marketing an audit and find how you can improve it to drive engagement.
6. Promote a Collaborative Workplace Culture
Traditional leadership relies on a siloed structure that promotes one-way communication — from top to bottom. But siloed leadership styles don’t just cut it anymore.
It would help if you embraced collaborative leadership. Collaborative leadership is a management style that encourages input from all stakeholders — from leadership to the frontline workers.
For collaborative leadership to work, you must encourage information to flow from top to bottom and from the bottom up. Free-flowing communication may be challenging at first, especially as employees may not be used to voicing their concerns and opinions.
Effective leadership communication, therefore, supports all efforts to create a collaborative workplace culture. With everyone on the same page and armed with the same information, there’s less room for errors, employee engagement rates improve, and your team functions like a well-oiled machine.
7. Encourage 1-on-1 Conversations
A true leader isn’t just concerned about what the organization benefits from its human capital. They’re more concerned about each employee and work toward helping them reach their full potential.
To do this, you as a leader must foster 1-on-1 conversations with your team.
1-on-1 meetings provide a dedicated space and time for open-ended and anticipated discussions between you and a team member. These meetings are not meant for status reports or planning strategies.
1-on-1 sessions are meant for coaching, mentorship, or giving context on a particular project. They can also even be used to allow your employees to vent and let off a bit of steam.
By giving each employee time, you show that you are concerned about them. That alone will help you win their trust and loyalty. As a result, they’ll be more committed to helping you achieve your goals.
While 1-on-1 sessions may seem counterproductive, they are an essential ingredient to boosting employee morale and productivity.
8. Invest in Knowledge Management
Another leadership communication trend you must embrace is that of investing in a knowledge management system. Knowledge management is the strategic process of structuring, retaining, and sharing the knowledge and experience of employees within your organization.
The purpose of knowledge management is to improve your organization’s efficiency. It’s also to help you save critical knowledge within your company.
Knowledge management is essential to leadership communication as it helps:
- Define the kind of knowledge that’s important to your organization
- Make information easily accessible to everyone
- Enable employees to share valuable information
A sound knowledge management system streamlines the flow of information and empowers your employees with the correct information exactly when they need it.
9. Empower Your Employees to Be Brand Ambassadors
A good leader develops their employees to be extensions of themselves. They empower their employees to be brand ambassadors.
You must empower your employees to be your voice internally and externally.
People trust the voice of their peers more than they trust the voice of “corporate.” Empowered employees can help you spread your message to their peers in a more effective way than you would.
When you empower your employees to be brand ambassadors, they’ll also represent you well to prospects and customers. You can even empower your employees with the right social media management tools to actively spark and engage in conversations concerning your brand.
By doing so, your employees will speak for you in places, and at times, you can’t.
10. Leverage Surveys and Quizzes to Know Your Employees Better
Leadership communication is not just about conveying a message to your employees. It’s also about getting to understand your employees better.
By understanding each employee’s strengths, skills, and weaknesses, you’re better equipped to assign tasks best suited to them. This ensures that each job is completed well and helps boost employee engagement and productivity.
Getting to know your employees is not difficult, especially if you know the right tools to use. And some of the best tools to use are surveys and personality quizzes.
Not only do surveys and quizzes help you understand your employees, but they also help your workers introspect and get to know themselves better. And while it may not seem like it, participating in a survey or quiz is an effective way of communicating with your employees.
Leadership communication may be challenging, particularly in a world that’s changing at a rapid pace. However, if you can be on top of current leadership communication trends, leading your employees and organization to success.
Effective leadership communication is a means to an end — with the result being an empowered workforce. A good leader always raises his employees to be leaders themselves. And they do that through effective communication.
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