The Power of Personalization: How CEOs Can Elevate Their Communications for Success
CEOs act as the head of their company, making decisions about the overall workflow and operations of that business. Across managing company structures, driving success and profit, as well as communicating with staff and the board, there is a lot on their plates. With all these balls to juggle, it’s easy to let great communication fall by the wayside.
With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that most employees – even those that directly report to CEOs or the C-suite – don’t trust leadership. Only 44% of employees think that their CEOs are credible and genuine people. If you’re looking to shift the tides within your organization, you need to start to focus on communication skills.
In this article, we’ll dive into CEO communication, demonstrating how you can take your skills to the next level in order to build up employee trust and create a more successful business environment. We’ll cover:
- Empathy-First Communication
- Medium-Based Authenticity
- Show That Your Company Goes Beyond Profitability
Let’s dive right in.
CEOs set the tone across the company. What they do, other C-suite executives will follow, which will then trickle down to managers and beyond. With that in mind, CEOs have the important job of fostering the workplace culture that they want to see across their organization. All of this starts with communication, with this impacting how people perceive one another, communicate, and work together on projects going forward.
CEO communication can come in many forms, from external press releases to internal email or video communications. Across all of these fields, it’s important to remember to lead with empathy. Especially when it comes to internal communication, your messages will reach every single corner of your business.
A good practice for this is to put yourself in the shoes of your employees. Especially at lower levels in your business, the average worker isn’t going to care about record-breaking profits or smashing quarterly goals. What they’ll be more impacted by is if you talk about ways that you’re focusing on improving their work-life.
While giving out bonuses or increasing the minimum salary at your workplace is the easiest way to do this, that won’t be an option for all businesses. Instead, you can focus on using empathy to imbue your communication with a sense of gratitude and appreciation. If your employees see that you focus on their hard work and acknowledge the effort that they put in, they’ll be much more likely to start to think positively of you.
We live in an era where the vast majority of the content that we encounter has not necessarily been written by the person that’s given the credit. Ghostwriting is extremely normal, both internally and externally to businesses. Most employees know that, which is why a long email from a CEO doesn’t really do much to persuade anyone that the CEO cares.
It’s incredibly common for CEOs to outsource their internal communications to other staff members. Instead of spending time crafting a message that congratulates employees on their hard work, they just sign off on the final draft. As employees, written content doesn’t often go very far as it’s easy to forge or falsify.
Instead of relying on only written content, many employees will react more positively to mediums that cannot be done by someone else. If you record and send out a video to your staff, they will know that you’ve taken the time to sit down and communicate with them. Small touches like this can go a long way, making all of your communication feel more personable and authentic.
Another great way of including authenticity in your communications is to always include a personal touch. For example, in your email signature, you could include quotes that inspire you, media articles that have interested you, or Google surveys where you ask for employee options. These little personal touches can go a long way when building up authenticity.
Show That Your Company Goes Beyond Just Profit
CEOs, especially by the media, are not often painted in the most favorable light. The focus on endless profit, boundless productivity, and continuously building toward success is favorable in some circles, but not in all of them. For CEOs that limit their communications to these spheres, it’s easy for employees to build up a negative picture of their leadership.
For investors and the board, the point of a company is inherently going to be profit. Yet, as a CEO, you should be able to identify ‘the why’ behind your business. Perhaps you’re helping to solve a certain problem, or perhaps your technology helps people around the world in one way or another.
When you communicate with employees, letting them know that there is more to you and more to the company than just profit will go a long way. In fact, the company should be one of the last things you focus on. Being grateful for employee effort, thankful for the past quarter, and mindful of how hard people are working should always be on your radar.
Equally, according to an Edelman Study, as many as 86% of all employees want their CEOs to take a more active role in society and the press. These employees believe that CEOs should speak out on societal problems and challenges, inspiring other companies in their industry to do the same.
A further 68% of employees see it as a CEO’s job to clearly communicate features of the government, stepping in to recommend solutions to societal problems that occur. A CEO shouldn’t just focus on the internal profitability of their company, they should become an example of fighting for good in the world.
By including information, data, and expert insight from those in social movements, CEOs can more actively communicate with their workers and build up a favorable picture within their business.
Personalization, authenticity, and transparency are qualities that every CEO should rely on if they’re looking to build favor within their own company. By being as genuine as possible via all communication mediums, CEOs are able to relate to their employees. Employees that have a sense of connection with managers and higher-ups are famously more productive and more successful at work.
By creating a communication change across a workforce, CEOs can build a stronger company going forward. While peer-to-peer communication may seem like a small area to focus on, it is undeniably one of the most important ways that CEOs can steer their companies toward success.
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