No matter the size or the industry, companies are simply a collection of people. As members of a company, we have the desire to communicate what we care about, where our passions reside, and how we want to see the future realized. So how does our company hear what we have to say, and how does it respond to our questions?
Typically, with good intentions, companies create articles, blog posts, policies, and other content, all of which is designed to answer our questions and to act as the voice of the company. So, when was the last time you had a heartfelt conversation with a policy or an article?
Stroll through almost any intranet site or SharePoint directory, and time allowing, you will find articles, blogs, policies, and other content covering a variety of topics. However, dig deeper and things become more challenging. Want to see your company’s position on recent social issues? Good luck. Need to understand what your company is doing about pay equity? Keep looking.
If your search for relevant, meaningful information feels disjointed, you are at least not alone.
5 steps to improve your company’s voice
What is your point of entry, and what challenges and pitfalls does your company need to avoid? It all starts by aligning your published content with the company’s core values and culture.
Here’s how to begin:
- Take inventory: Any idea of how many documents have been published by HR, IT, Finance, Purchasing, Sales, etc.? How about the variety of topics covered and, just as important, the topics on which no content is published?
- Cleanse your content: Now that you have a handle on your inventory of documents, you will want to identify the content that is duplicated, contradicted, out of date, or out of step with current thinking.
- Identify the gaps: With your inventory of newly cleansed content in hand, take one month to have face-to-face (in person and virtual) conversations with as many of your employees as possible. Ask your employees, “what information do you want but can’t seem to find?” and what you are most likely to hear about what’s missing is content that would answer each employee’s questions about career, control, compensation, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Plug the gaps: This is the hard part. This is where you have to be crystal clear on your company’s commitment and willingness to put in writing its stance on employee career opportunities, empowerment, total rewards, work standards, making the workplace safe for everyone, accountability to provide respectful and dignified treatment to all, and equal opportunity for inclusion.
- Create governance: You now need a routine that ensures that the inventory you worked so hard to create is kept current; that the once-cleansed content does not fall back into disrepair; and most importantly, that gaps are continually identified and addressed with fresh, relevant content.
Meeting the moments of truth
In your company’s journey, the moment of truth is realized in the question, “Can each employee not only find information that is relevant to their situation, but can they hear the voice of our company as it clearly explains, ‘Here is how this applies to you in your situation’?”