Effective internal communication can help develop TCF strengths and values through awareness and acknowledgment
What we pay attention to gets repeated. When we acknowledge and consistently talk about what we do best, we help develop our TCF strengths and values and we become better at embedding them in our culture. This internal communication about TCF strengths and values should occur both formally and informally. When these ideas are made part of every conversation from water-cooler conversations to our business strategies, we can embed what works and reduce what does not. It is easier to change TCF behaviours when the ideas are front of mind.
Best practices for internal communication:
1. Be strategic.
Communication about strengths and values needs to be thoughtful and strategic. Consider how communication flows through your organisation and plan accordingly. Strategic leaders go beyond email announcements; they enlist influencers, successful teams and respected leaders to help build enthusiasm for strengths and values. These leaders also open conversations and listen out for potential roadblocks. Communication about strengths and TCF value success stories needs to be purposeful, with leaders supporting an environment in which employees discuss these ideas daily.
2. Share the what, why and how.
Begin by explaining what strengths and values are, and why the organisation needs to build a strengths-based culture. Creating a culture in which every person gets to do what they are best at each day does not happen overnight. The ability to leverage our strengths and values in line with our strategic TCF goals helps build an agile and customer friendly environment. Employees also need to know how to utilise these strengths in their day-to-day work. Understanding how we can leverage these positive behaviours to accomplish the organisation’s TCF goals helps make the idea more practical. Achieving strengths-based performance goals requires education – specifically “what, why and how”. A strengths based approach impacts each employee’s role. This idea should be introduced during on-boarding and reinforced on a daily basis.3. Make it memorable.
Each organisation has a unique way of sharing their culture through internal communication. It is important for leaders to find a way to communicate in ways that make sense in their organisation. This communication should align with their strategy. For some this will include humour (e.g. South West airlines safety announcements); others may take a more direct approach by linking specific types of strengths and values to business outcomes (e.g. during calls to customers). It is useful to link the strengths and values to the organisational objectives by demonstrating how they help get things done. Sharing the benefits and importance of strengths and values requires consistent effort. Corporate communications can often get lost in the noise of daily information overload for busy employees. It is important for leaders to align strengths and values communication with other key messages so that employees don’t get confused by competing messages.
4. Share success stories and recognise achievements.
Real-world examples about how strengths and values are used to support a TCF culture are essential. These examples demonstrate how a strength and values based culture actually works. Team leaders can, as an example, highlight these elements in action by recognising a team member for utilising strengths and values to make a real difference to a customer. Reinforcing strengths and values through recognition helps employees understand why it matters.
5. Share what you learn.
Gaining employee buy-in involves sharing real examples of how a value and strengths-based culture delivers business and customer benefits. It is also important to share how their absence can negatively impact the bottom line. We all make mistakes, and to become TCF compliant it is vital to share what we learn from the mistakes we do make. These messages are most credible when they come from trusted sources – leaders or employees that have learned from mistakes. Acknowledgement of what we learn encourages employees to do their part in building a living TCF culture.
6. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Consistent communication is essential. Leaders need to keep these strengths and values front of mind. Keeping the conversation going by reminding employees of the core concepts, such as how to tie strengths and values to their goals. Leaders need to consistently reinforce the power of strengths and values in building a living TCF culture, not assuming that they already know the “what, why and how”. Building and embedding a TCF culture is a process, not a single conversation.