Communicating what ‘effective growth,’ means for particular businesses and divisional teams is becoming a significant challenge for the executive suite. Empower teams through a top-down understanding of measures beyond financials is becoming crucial to maintaining an effective and engaged workforce.
Many brand-name organisations, whose only measure of success or failure over the years has been that of share price or bottom-line profit, have struggled when faced with the prospect of industry consolidation, or sales and marketing diversification and the additional, often complex measurements required as a result. This will only become more challenging as sales and marketing measurement becomes more ambiguous with prospect and audience engagement numbers through various social media channels becoming vital.
As an enraptured audience is becoming more important than a well tended database, and company value is measured as much by the size of a business’s community and therefore potential to initiate change, as it is by last year’s financial results, employees must come to learn the “new growth.”
Gratifyingly, most businesses have been quick to adapt to the digital economy. This is likely due in no small part to necessity being the mother of skill, and fast moving smaller competitors introducing faster or more innovative solutions that required immediate action. As a direct result of this, businesses have become far more aware of where their true value lies, but often this awareness has failed to translate into organisational change.
Employees that feel the company they work for is on a downward trajectory, are far more likely to evaluate their options or be receptive in the event they receive proactive approaches from competitors. In-demand talent especially is likely to be concerned that their reputation may be tarnished by the potential downfall of their employer. Often however, this concern is unfounded and simply a result of poor communication and through that a lack of understanding of the true measures of success within the business.
Management and advisory board meetings are often a vacuum for communication. Conversations related to measures outside of financial growth and customer numbers are often kept inside confidential reports and discussions. Out of context, communicating intentionally through proactive updates or unintentionally through sharemarket announcements that a company’s finances have stagnated, can plant seeds of doubt in employees minds, all the while, behind closed boardroom doors, management is delighted that community engagement and purchases on a new platform are up. Often, even these measures are communicated it’s not anything more than an endnote, meaning that there has been no effort to adjust perceptions, as a result the concerns as to the viability of the company can continue unabated.
The lesson here is simple. As industries develop, senior managers and communications professionals must assist employees – especially those critical to future growth – in understanding the new measures of success in their business. In so doing, cultural change and an increased focus on these new outcomes can also be achieved, and most importantly, employee satisfaction and length of tenure won’t be inhibited by a lack of communication.