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Ask Dr. Sharkey: How Do I Better Communicate Company Goals?

Posted by Sandy Yu on 9.13.2018

Sharkey

“Dr. Sharkey, I’m proud to say I have a very talented, driven team. Each person is motivated to do their best and are personally invested in the company’s future. However, even with an amazing team, I often find my team isn’t on the same page when it comes to company-wide initiatives. How can I effectively communicate company goals to employees in various departments in a way that will get everyone on the same page and increase business outcomes?”

This is an important question. Just because you publish or talk about company goals periodically in company meetings does not mean people carry that message into their everyday work. You need to help them internalize the goals and make an emotional connection to company-wide initiatives.  

While technology provides fantastic tools to communicate goals and the team’s progress, getting employees invested often involves an old-fashioned dialogue. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the following points:

1. How customers are impacted

When your team is dedicated to the company’s future, they understand that success is directly tied to your customers. If employees don’t understand customers’ evolving needs, the company will falter. Any organizational goals need to work toward creating a better experience for the customer.

However, for employees who don’t work directly with them, it can be difficult to see how goals impact customers. For example, say the company is starting a new wellness initiative, and the goal is for all employees to exercise 30 minutes a day. It’s clear that this goal helps individual employees. But how does it improve the customer experience?

When conversing with employees about this goal, remind them that being healthier and happier can lead to increased productivity. No matter the employee’s job, if they can perform better, it will positively impact customers.

2. How their everyday job will change

In order to achieve a goal, something needs to change. Following the same processes won’t result in better performance. But given the broad scope of organization goals, employees don’t see how those changes filter down to them.

Depending on the employee’s role, potentially only small adjustments are needed. Nonetheless, you need to be clear about what the new goals mean for the individual.

This doesn’t mean you need to order employees around. Make it a conversation by asking employees what they would do to help contribute to the goal. Hearing what they say will show you how well they understand the initiative and allow you to clarify as necessary.

3. What success looks like

Often, organizational goals are abstract. For instance, you can say you want to improve employee engagement. But what does that look like? When discussing new goals, you need to paint employees a clear picture of success. This helps them envision themselves as part of the accomplishment.

This conversation needs to be ongoing. While working toward the goal, talk about success stories in team meetings. Share lessons learned, and work through common obstacles that need to be addressed. This dialogue will keep everyone on the same page and invested in achieving the goal.

Finally, be clear about how success will be measured. Let your employees know what you will measure to track progress. Make it easy for employees to follow how the team is doing by having a goal dashboard that’s regularly updated.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how talented your team is if they’re not all on the same page. By having these conversations after setting new business objectives, you can get every employee invested.

Dr. Linda Sharkey is a best-selling author and in-demand speaker and coach. She is dedicated to helping businesses prepare for the future and developing leaders and teams to support company growth.

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Topics: internal communications, employee communication, workplace communication

Human Resources Today