How should I communicate with my team? Many leaders face this dilemma, even more so when the team are scattered across different countries. Managing a virtual organisation ensuring that remote employees feel motivated, engaged and part of a wider purpose, has to be one of the most challenging tasks of a modern leader. It's fair to say that many organisations have worked hard to make sure employees have an opportunity to voice their views whether through employee surveys, newsletters or town hall meetings. So how do you get the personal touch of a 1-2-1 meeting together with efficiency of an All Hands conference call? How do you crowdsource the best ideas from all of your employees.
Introducing Leadership Blog 2.0: Where bright ideas start with open communications.
One of the cornerstones of an internal social media strategy is a leadership blog. A leadership blog is a fantastic platform to invite feedback from communities and engage them in dialogue - including internal audiences. Blogs enable leaders to add a personal touch to their leadership style talking about experiences they've had, customers they've met or challenges they're working on. A tool like this can help cross the divide within a virtual environment and allow leaders to connect, on a personal level, to their internal stakeholders even if they don't see them very often.
However, social tools such as blogs will bring transparency across the ranks. This kind of uncontrolled visibility can make many leaders anxious. Even though all of the discussions are internal to the organisation, comments and conversations that typically happen around the coffee machine will be out in the open for all to see. Leaders need to be prepared for that. Many will find this kind of culture shift challenging.
So if you're considering a leadership blog, here are some Tribal Tips:
- Use Blogs As Part Of Your Communication Strategy: Blogs should augment your communication approach and not replace it. Continue to use face-to-face, coaching and engagement with employees
- Make It Personal: Write about a customer you recently met, a meeting you attended or an issue that you've recently worked through. Make it real and relevant to your team.
- Write It Yourself: One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to use a ghost writer. Your employees know you and they will work out if you have written it yourself or if someone else has written it for you. This kind of mistake can cost you your credibility.
- Encourage Feedback: Finish each blog post with a question and encourage employees to engage with you.
- Acknowledge Comments: Take the time to acknowledge comments. Ignoring them is a bit like not returning a phone call when an employee has bothered to leave you a message. You may not like all the comments you read but you must make sure you acknowledge them - let them know you're listening.
- Keep It Frequent: Make sure you blog regularly. You don't have to write a novel each time you post nor do you have to write every day. Just don't launch your great new blog to employees, write one post and then forget all about it. It sends the wrong message to your employees. If you can't commit to a blog, don't start it.
- Have Some Fun: Try a video blog post or add photos. It all adds to your 'personality' and keeps it real for your employees
Have you any leadership blog tips to share?