After the slumber of the holiday season, January is the perfect opportunity for leaders to fire the business equivalent of a starting pistol for the year ahead.
Get it right and you’ll set a great pace for your people for the next 12 months’ organisational journey.
Misfire this month though, and you could send your employees in different directions, lose momentum later in the year, or worse still not even get them out of the starting blocks.
So to avoid that, here’s four employee questions I think leadership communication should answer this January:
1. What’s our strategy, again?
Even if your business strategy remains broadly the same as 2017, don’t assume your employees will know that. Take the chance to share a recap, point back to previously published resources for further detail and share reminders on information to bookmark for reference.
Maybe it’s also time to reassess your approach to ensure your most important information is communicated clearly, with context, to employees.
2. What’s different this year?
When you communicate your strategy, be clear about what’s the same, and also what is different. Often a list of the things that you aren’t doing any more / aren’t prioritising, is just as valuable for employees to know as the list of the things that you will be doing.
3. What are our specific goals for 2018?
Get clear on what needs to be achieved this particular year. While your strategy may work towards a vision that’s two, three or even more years ahead, get specific about the here and now.
4. What do you need from me?
Ok, while you may not be able to make it personal at an organisational-wide level, answering questions 1-3 above should set the scene. At the very least, your company-wide leadership communications should provide a steer – particularly around the behaviours, skills, mindset and attitude that leaders will need from all employees in the year ahead.
Managers need to be equipped to support their teams to understand how their role connects to the bigger picture. Guidance in the form of talking points / team meeting templates etc will help them to do this more effectively at the local level.