Leadership involvement is vital to social intranet success

Evidence continues to mount that social intranets have the potential to produce big results for organizations. The ongoing McKinsey & Company study points to outcomes ranging from increased market share to reduced time to market, along with a host of other positive results. Studies from MIT and Aberdeen Group show productivity gains among employees using social intranets.

Yet a recent study from IABC and Prescient Digital Media suggests that 39% of companies don’t have any social components on their intranets (the number is as high as 49% in other research), and a substantial number of those that do have only one (like a wiki or a… Read More »

Trust in leadership worth half a million

Regular readers will know that I believe senior leadership communication is a vital element of internal communications at all times, whether significant change is occurring or not. I’ve received two more pieces of evidence to support this notion.

Angela Sinickas sends along the first in the form of research by Warren Shepell, a global leader in employee assistance programs. According to the firm’s research, seven things are required for maximizing employee engagement. At the top of the list, according to the research: “Trust in senior managers.” Trust in supervisors was high up on the list, weighing in at number four. Ranking aboveRead More »

Frontline employees wanted to hear from CEO

For reasons I cannot imagine, I’ve been assigned to judge the “Electronic and Digital Communication - Skills” entries at the IABC Gold Quill Blue Ribbon Panel. Among the entries I’ve been reviewing so far is one from a well-known global company with many tens of thousands of employees. The company is going through evolutionary change wrought by global markets, new technologies, and new demands from existing customers. Communicating the change to employees has been high on the list of priorities for the company’s internal communicators, who conducted employee research to help them craft the efforts. A key bit of research that drove a… Read More »

Analysts expect CEOs to communicate with employees

If you reject all the other research and rationale for CEOs to communicate with employees—especially during times of change and stress—you should pay attention to the recently released “Return on Reputation” survey. Hill & Knowlton released the study, conducted by MORI, revealing how financial analysts view corporate reputation management. As much as you may dislike the amount of power financial analysts wield over organizations, that power is very real. And analysts expect CEOs to communicate with their employees.

Shel Holtz

The authors of the study found it “unsurprising” that analysts need to lead organizational change (an opinion held by… Read More »

Hay research supports importance of leader communication

In his rebuttal to my argument that executive communication is critical during times of change, Dr. T.J. Larkin wrote, “In this context, the book concludes that the type of communication most likely to change employee behavior: targets frontline supervisors, relies on face-to-face communication, and deals with issues relevant to the future of the local work area.  Our book supports this conclusion with a review of 254 studies.” In fact, Dr. Larkin’s thesis—that communication not aimed at immediate supervisors and local work areas is a waste of time—is supported almost entirely by the research Dr. Larkin cites. In recent months, I have… Read More »

More support for leader communications

The more I talk about the communication role of senior leaders during times of organizational change, the more supporting evidence I get. Take, for instance, the following excerpt from a book called “Organizational Surveys” (1996, Jossey-Bass). William A. Schiemann penned Chapter 4, “Driving Change Through Surveys: Aligning Employees, Customers, and Other Key Stakeholders.” He wrote,

From my familiarity with many firms who have conducted linkage studies, i have found that one of the best predictors of financial and operating performance is employee rating of management capability, followed closely by employee perceptions of supervisory…

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