Establishing your team’s credibility within an organization is essential for success. It does takes time and concerted effort.
From the expertise you offer to the outcomes the team generates consistently over time, there is a lot at stake. From the behaviors the team exhibits, to the creativity displayed through great work – there are numerous opportunities to build a strong team reputation.
Based on my experience, here are a few recommendations to get your team’s credentials soaring in your organization.
· Put your work in context: If stakeholders do not know the environment you work in, there is little chance of them appreciating the value you add. Be it the complexity of dealing with competition or facing into business challenges, putting your work in context is a foundation stone for creating a team of repute. Have a page on the intranet to begin, if it doesn’t already exist. Extend your engagement beyond the work functions you are aligned to.
· Know how it all fits in: Having a model for engagement helps in improving your team’s appeal. Helping stakeholders know how your operate, when to approach you or how to be self-reliant – can do wonders for your team’s reputation. Knowing that your team can’t be present at all times and for all requests is also about setting expectations and accepting limitations. If they don’t know how much effort goes into the work you do or how much of turnaround time is needed to make initiatives come alive, your team may not be able to progress very far.
· Be known for creating impact: When you display your work and how it has demonstrated business improvements, you also throw light on your team’s competency and agility. Share your best campaigns – (the challenges, the solutions and outcomes) so that stakeholders know what ‘good’ and ‘great’ look like. Provide reasons to believe that your team is the ‘go-to’ bunch on anything related to communication. Again, not as just custodians of the brand but also as advocates for others. Talk about the team’s composition and the various skills you can offer individually and collectively.
· Ask for help: The communications team is an enabler and not a bottleneck in the organization’s quest for success. How your team members engage with stakeholders can make or mar your internal reputation. As a team, you can’t go it alone in a world where every employee is a communicator and a channel. Taking them along in the journey means letting go of egos and allowing cross-pollination of ideas and practices.Invite feedback and act on them swiftly.
· Offer help beyond your core focus areas: Doing what the team is expected to do won’t take people by surprise. Taking it up a notch is another way to drive connection and build credibility. Offer reviews of internal business team communications and share recommendations. Conduct a ‘communication needs analysis’ and share a list of ‘learning’ sessions your team can offer. Aim for 5-10 minute slots in business team meetings and talk about the ‘culture’ of communication which your team can inculcate.
Building a team’s credibility isn’t easy. While doing so, it also helps if team is leading the way as thought leaders. This means, standing out, as brand experts, contributing as ambassadors and helping staff get stronger with communication.