The foundation of any successful business model starts with the realisation that your people are your greatest strength and most prized asset. Our job in HR is to ensure that our business puts people first.
We need to make sure that all our people are connected, engaged and inspired. To perform at their best, people need to feel valued, included and be absolutely clear on the crucial part they play in driving the whole organisation forward.
Communications channels are varied and numerous but they must all be used strategically. You need to focus on the importance of strong people management, encourage ever-closer connections between employees and their line-managers, and increase the visibility of senior leaders at all levels of the organisation. Every manager, every leader in your organisation is an ambassador for your company brand, your mission statement and your business goals. They represent all of this, to all of your people, every day.
One thing we focus on today more than ever before is giving everyone line of sight to the company's growth goals. This is more than just a base awareness of the company's direction; it is a credible view of the role that each individual plays in delivering the vision for the business as a whole.
From 1:1 interaction, to team dynamics, through to total organisation engagement, your ultimate goal is for everyone to be in touch and to feel that they are in touch. Perception and reality must be congruent. Communication with employees at all levels must be a two-way conversation, not simply a one-way flow of information. The latest developments in technology provide the platforms to make this possible, but you have to drive it.
Your people deserve quick decisions and quick reactions to questions, concerns and issues. Across the various communications touch-points, you need to speak with a clear and consistent message. It needs to be tailored and adapted according to different groups and different needs, but the essence of your message remains the same: Everyone valued, everyone included, everyone performing at their peak.
And you can't dip in and out when it suits. Truly successful communications forms a drumbeat; reinforcing a central theme, challenging misperceptions and cynicism, and rallying people behind a cause.
Communications empowers your people and fuels your organisation. Get it wrong and you create a climate of confusion, uncertainty and apathy. Get it right and you enjoy the benefits of a passionate, dedicated and driven workforce.
Your people are your champions both in and outside your organisation. They are the voice of your company and you need to give them a microphone, find the right stages to put them on, and provide a clear vision for them to articulate. This works best when people are informed and engaged; when they are inspired to lead. This is the driving idea behind Business in the Community's Workwell campaign; businesses who invest in employee wellness and engagement have happier, more productive staff and ultimately achieve better business performance.
Niall de Lacy is Director of HR at Procter & Gamble. He is also a member of Business in the Community's Workwell campaign leadership team, committed to improving employee engagement and wellbeing.
To find out more about the BITC Workwell campaign visit: www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/workwell