Bring on the Leaders! Involving Top Managers in Internal Communications

Who better to speak for the company's vision than its top executives? The relationship with and trust in the frontline workforce can be strengthened through direct messages from top management.

So why don’t we involve leaders in the communication (more often)?

The biggest challenge is usually posed by managers themselves, who might try to dodge this task “due to lack of time”. In reality, the biggest roadblock is often just the nerves of the situation or a lack of familiarity with the technological options available.

However, managers often play an essential part in various aspects of an organization's operations:

  • Whether it is communicating the goals, reasons and circumstances of organizational change - for example, the introduction of a new employee platform,
  • establishing employee engagement, even during the onboarding process,
  • and their active involvement in internal communication can also help reduce the information gap that typically exists between managers and subordinates.

So, as difficult as it may seem at first sight to convince them, it is worth making an extra effort to facilitate their involvement in online and offline internal communication.

Reaching & convincing leaders

Once we have decided to embark on this journey, the first challenge will be to effectively reach and convince the leaders themselves. What tools can help us do this?

1. First, make sure that the use of the intranet is part of an overall internal communication strategy. When, how regularly, about what and in what form do we communicate? Which department(s) are responsible for content management?

2. It's important to involve and inform managers right from the start of the implementation process. To help managers feel supported throughout the process, it's important to create a plan for communicating with them in advance or together. The community's acceptance of the new feature can be influenced greatly by these people, who serve as both role models and opinion leaders in the organization's daily operations.

3. A face-to-face meeting, whether it be a long, in-depth discussion or just a few minutes of their time during a management meeting, can go a long way toward getting their attention and getting things done. Here, you should introduce the platform, outline the strategy for putting it into action, and explain why they should care about being involved in the content creation process. Now that we mention it, why exactly should they?

  • By publishing content online, the leadership messages and announcements can reach all employees at the same time.
  • It also makes it easy to deal with issues that arise, rather than being contacted in person at unexpected and often potentially inconvenient times.
  • Leaders and managers can focus on the tasks at hand and make plans for addressing communication issues as they arise.

4. You can also create an annual content plan to show managers what roles and tasks we expect them to play and when. In this way, they can plan their participation and prepare themselves - even if only mentally - for the task or topic in advance.

5. Of course, when choosing the right form of communication, it is important to build on the personality and skills of the leaders, and find out what situations and topics suit them best. We can think about publishing a video recording of a face-to-face speech in written text format with photos, or even individual video reports. And let's not worry about editing, over-rehearsing what is being said. It's more important for colleagues to encounter honest, personal content that speaks to them, and it's these videos that can convey it well.

Blue Colibri App examples

Many Blue Colibri App partners are already benefiting from content developed with leadership input. For better communication between managers and staff, consider these two examples:

1. Video messages at Praktiker

With their PrakTEAM App, Praktiker can easily bridge the gap between different levels of the organization and have a big impact on employee engagement right from the start of an employee's career.

As part of the onboarding process, they started using CEO welcome videos, through which new colleagues joining during the Covid pandemic could meet, greet, and hear key information about the company from senior management.

The initiative was such a success that video information sharing has since become a popular way of sharing information throughout the organization. All important information that affects a wide range of employees is shared by managers in video form, giving them the opportunity to adopt a more personal tone in the online space. Needless to say, this content always has outstanding reach, with the highest view counts among the content shared.

2. Trans-Sped: Make your voice heard!

The logistics company Trans-Sped has implemented a "Make your voice heard" program through the app's administration function, allowing employees to ask questions (even anonymously) to leaders.

These are regularly collected by the platform admins and forwarded to the managers, who answer them every week in different formats (video, text post). The answers to previously asked questions are also always available at all times, so that employees can always be informed about topics that have been covered in the past.

This project has opened the lines of communication between the blue-collar and white-collar workforce and upper management. The main advantages of the program are that it strengthens organizational culture and cohesion by keeping employees up-to-date on company matters, and it stops the spread of false rumors.

Take control of internal communication and convince your leaders to get involved! By finding the right methods, you can strengthen the organizational culture and take the relationship between managers and subordinates to a new level. Not to mention the impact on employee engagement...😉