Employees – Your Most Trusted Resource
We recently attended a conference showcasing the results of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. Most of the results shared focused on a decline in trust across business and government. This is not likely a surprise to you, nor was it to us. However, a key finding that did resonate with us here at Lighthouse NINE was the fact that even though trust levels may have lowered, “employees are trusted on average 16 points more than CEO’s on key messaging such as employee/customer relations, financial earnings and industry issues.*”
They actually found in their research that employees are trusted at similar levels as experts. This information leads Edelman to the insight that it is critical to “tap peers, especially employees, to lead communication and advocacy efforts.” This reinforced a belief we have been working at Lighthouse NINE Group for years; that your employees need to play a pivotal role in communications.
So how do you do this? How do you “tap into peers, especially employees” and use them as part of your communication strategy? We have three methods that we have been using to “tap” employees to lead communications over the years, each approach distinct in execution, and each enabling employee’s to play the role of communicator.
- Implement a Transition Monitoring Team (TMT)*
During times of change, enlisting employees across the business to play a role in communicating and engaging peers helps effectively manage the change. This peer group is responsible for such things as surfacing and managing concerns, engaging other employees in positive dialogue and executing key elements of the Communication Strategy. We recently used a TMT to support an organization’s integration and move with great success. A proof point that tapping peers to communicate is powerful!
- Creation of a Peer-Led Strategy Cascade Using a Visual Learning Tool
Engaging all employees at once in peer-led dialogues on industry trends and your company’s strategic response is a high impact approach that taps into your most trusted resource, your employees. By creating a visual learning tool (a poster that tells your story) and a detailed table leader guide (a guide for your employee to use), you can enable large-scale conversations within your business that you may never have thought possible. The impact of this approach is phenomenal and reinforces the power of tapping into employees as communicators.
- Development of Targeted Conversation Tools
Manager toolkits are a great resource for managers, but have you ever considered creating an employee conversation toolkit? Providing structured, modular conversation tools to be used by peers to help engage all employees. We recently enabled a group of employees to host conversations around changes in the organization by providing speaking points, tools and agendas to lead discussions thus tapping into the desire for these change agents to mobilize their peers.
Research has proven that tapping into peers, especially employees, can generate significantly increased trust in your message. The next time you are faced with a decision on how to communicate, listen to the research, embrace the voice of your employee, your most trusted communication resource, and reap the benefits.