Getting staff aligned on strategy and where the company is headed isn’t a cakewalk as leaders realize today. Vinod, 55, a seasoned leader and CEO of Value Ltd discovered during the ‘All Hands’ he ran across his offices in the country.
Value Ltd, in the business of supplying gar boxes to leading automobile manufacturers in the world had a mix of youth and experienced staff. The company had about 60% young engineers with about 2-5 years of experience, about 20% contract staff and the rest were experience hands. They recently acquired a company of 5000 people to add their total employee strength to 20000 employees. Vinod had built a reputation as a profit driven and no-nonsense leader who took several organizations up a notch or two with his customer oriented vision. Somehow, he wasn’t able to crack the employee puzzle and he discussed his angst with Kamal his internal communications head.
Vinod: “Look, I don’t get it. I travel half the country to be with my employees just as Swapna our HR Head told me to and all I get in return are some blank stares. I hardly got to hear their questions or even what they expect of me”.
Kamal: “Did you check why they weren’t engaging?”
Vinod: “I asked many questions and all I got was silence. I either should focus on driving sales or on motivating my employees – doing both don’t seem to work. I can get more value in motivating my sales force and reach our target.”
Kamal: “What is that you had in mind?”
Vinod: “You know our plans. We aim to touch 40 million in 3 years from the current 10 million and everyone needs to pull together. I want to see this organization among the best employers in 3 years. I want to ensure we exceed the expectations of our shareholders and deliver more than the revenue guidance. I have plans for transformational change across the organization where all staff contributes to innovation and ideas. Our recent acquisition also helped us grow to a scale far bigger than we envisaged.”
Kamal: “How else have you tried to get the message across?”
Vinod: “I have sent numerous e-mails on the subject but I hardly get a response from staff on the strategy. What else have we done as part of internal communications?”
Kamal: “We did put up posters of you visiting the offices talking of the great opportunity staff have in meeting with you. We released those videos of you speaking about our strategy and it is also on our intranet. We organized these roadshows.”
Vinod: “Something isn’t working and I want to send a strong message to staff that if they don’t participate then we are not heading anywhere. Kamal – I want you to recommend as the internal communications lead what we can do more to align staff. This is all about change and I can’t see us moving forward”
Kamal could sense the angst in Vinod’s voice and decided to revisit the approach and come back later. He excused himself from the meeting and walked back to his desk.
- If you were in Kamal’s shoes what would be your course of action?
- How can Vinod get his staff thinking about the future of the organization?
- What internal communication interventions will change the way staff view the strategy?
- What recommendations can Kamal give Vinod on the approach he can take as a leader?
Share your thoughts here.
The upcoming full-day, hands-on workshop Internal Communications 201 – Driving Change and Elevating Your Presence on July 7, 2012 at Bangalore will address this and many more crucial topics to make you an effective internal communicator and leader. Register now!