How to Communicate Your Strategy to Team Members
- Why It’s Important to Communicate Your Strategy Clearly
- 7 Tips on How to Communicate Your Strategy
A recent Connected Culture Report published on Business Wire revealed that 71% of employees who feel well-connected to their colleagues are more productive at work. And that’s supported by a McKinsey report, which found that employees with good internal communications enjoy a boost in productivity by up to 25%. Although more businesses are starting to see the need for a comprehensive marketing strategy, how you communicate your strategy plays a key role.
Communication is the heart and soul of any organization. Many company cultures are centered on building strong communication to promote trust, encourage teamwork, and fuel innovation. It can also reduce confusion and increase engagement among employees.
If you’ve spent time building the perfect strategic marketing plan for your organization, your work is not done yet. You need to develop a clear communication plan to ensure that all your employees are clear and aligned with it. We’ll discuss how to achieve that in this guide.
Why It’s Important to Communicate Your Strategy Clearly
Good communication ensures that vital strategic plans and information are relayed to the right people efficiently. Without it, all the work you’ve done to create a solid marketing strategy can go to waste.
Your ability to communicate your strategy effectively is important for many reasons:
- It Promotes Focus & Efficiency – A good communication approach ensures that everyone on the team is focused and aligned with the strategic marketing plan. It also enables you to maximize your resources.
- It Avoids Confusion – Using a more effective messaging approach and the right communication channels can eliminate confusion and ensure everything is done as it should be.
- It Optimizes Time & Connections – It ensures that the necessary information is given to the right individuals at the right time.
- It Brings Clarity to Your Purpose – All team members should be aware of the objectives, as they will feel a sense of reward once they get closer to the end goal.
- It Can Yield Better Results – You can create more impact with your marketing efforts when each person is well-informed.
Common Mistakes Business Leaders Make
Business leaders are responsible for building a solid marketing strategy for their organization (unless they have outside help, that is). They often exhaust their company resources to ensure that they have a strategy to guide their marketing efforts.
If that sounds like you, you are probably running into common pitfalls that should be avoided if you want to communicate your strategy with your team. Let’s dive into those now…
Saying It Once
This is one of the most common mistakes leaders make when communicating strategy to their team. They fear repeating themselves, but it is vital to ensure that your employees fully understand and take your vision and strategic plan to heart. As a leader, you must stick with the message and repeat it as often as necessary to drive it home.
The best way to communicate your strategy is to avoid making assumptions because they can lead to costly mistakes. Like the importance of repeating your message, ask your employees questions. Encourage them to seek clarification. Provide context where needed.
You should never assume that your team already understands your strategic plan. As a leader, it is your job to make sure they fully understand, and you must be willing to educate them if they don’t.
Relying Solely on Digital Communication
Most organizations now communicate through digital platforms, such as email, Trello, Slack, etc. If you are used to communicating via such channels, you might assume that’s a reliable way to communicate your strategy to the rest of your team.
However, your strategic marketing plan is far too important to be communicated only digitally. Make sure you designate time to speak face-to-face with your team (if possible), so you can confirm they’ve heard the plan.
Consider using storytelling or visual aids. Use any tool at your disposal to make it easier to communicate the strategy you’ve developed.
7 Tips on How to Communicate Your Strategy
A study published in MIT Sloan Management Review offered a shocking insight into the internal communications of most organizations. It reported that only 28% of employees could identify the strategic priorities of their company. That’s the best example we can give you of failed strategic communication.
So, how do you communicate your strategy to your team effectively? We’ve got some tips to help!
1) Involve Your Team
The best approach to strategic marketing communication is to involve your team from the start. Ask for their input when developing your strategic plan. If they are involved in building the strategy, they will be more involved as they become advocates of your strategic plan.
Some business leaders like to take control and make these important decisions themselves. However, involving your employees can increase engagement and make it easier to implement your strategy later.
Avoiding a top-down strategy increases involvement because your team understands why the strategic decisions were made, and they feel like they are part of the process.
Answer these questions when communicating your marketing strategy: Who are we trying to reach? What do we want them to do? What are our goals for this strategy? How will we measure success/know we hit our goals?
2) Start with the Message
An excellent strategic communication plan focuses on a simple message with a deep meaning. The goal is to make the message easy to grasp while ensuring it is aligned with your employees’ personal goals. Using this approach adds relevance because it gives your team purpose and direction.
Strategic communication within your organization isn’t about what’s in it for you but what’s in it for them. Knowing about your overall marketing strategy gives your employees’ day-to-day efforts deeper meaning since they are linked to a bigger goal.
3) Use Visual Aids
Visual aids can help you simplify your delivery of strategy to employees. If you rely on text or visual communication alone, it could leave gaps. By using both, you have a better chance of employees retaining and understanding the plan. Adding visuals also enables your employees to envision your plan and makes it seem achievable.
4) Provide Context
One of the most effective ways to communicate your strategy to your team is to provide context. This is where using storytelling or providing data can help. It reinforces the importance of your marketing strategy so that they know the basis of those strategic decisions.
Employ easily digestible frameworks and tools that simplify how you present your ideas to your team.
5) Designate Roles
Another effective way to communicate your strategy to your team is to show them how they can contribute. Describe the different roles and responsibilities that each team member must perform and how that helps with the overall strategic marketing plan. It is a simplified way of implementing and communicating your strategy because it focuses on concrete actions rather than the theoretical realm.
Another benefit of breaking down your strategy to the task level is that your team members will feel more connected to their day-to-day tasks. It’s the best way to illustrate how their roles are aligned with the overall strategic marketing objectives of the organization.
Outline the key points your team needs to know in order to do their jobs while not oversharing or reaching a point of micromanaging them.
6) Implement a Framework
Not all messages are equal. You can create a framework for communicating your strategy based on the type of message you want to deliver. Here are three types to prioritize:
- Inspirational – Messages that inspire should be the highest priority because they demonstrate progress and showcase the benefits of the current marketing strategy. They also drive new initiatives to build on the success of your current strategy.
- Educational – You can also disperse messages that educate because they give more weight to your strategic decisions. That’s why it is crucial to encourage feedback from your team so you can improve your strategy as you progress.
- Reinforcing – And finally, you must send messages of reinforcement. It provides a link between your team’s strategy and its overall purpose. It’s important to repeat this message often so they are clearly understood.
Remember to share results with your team. Don’t just include them in defining and creating the marketing strategy—let them know how it performed. Look at whether you hit your goals or not. If you did, was it because the goal was too easy to achieve or the campaign was just that good? If you didn’t, was it because the goal was unrealistic or the campaign bombed?
7) Invest in the Right Tools
There are several communication tools and technologies available. It’s important that business leaders recognize the most efficient tools to use for communicating a strategy within the team. Since communication is at the core of business success, the right tools can be a smart and profitable investment in the long run.
For too long, the importance of how you communicate your strategy has been secondary to building a strategic marketing plan. But the two are equally important and should be given equal thought when planning. No matter how good your strategy is, it won’t succeed if you don’t know how to communicate and implement it with your team.
Need help building an effective strategy within your organization? Schedule a free consultation with us today!