How to communicate your vision and mission to employees – and have it stick

Internal employee communications has, without doubt, becoming more challenging since the turn of the decade. 

In response to the pandemic, many firms switched to and have since stuck with some form of hybrid or remote working model, a reality which means that all employees are seldom in the same place at the same time. 

Meanwhile, the array of communications platforms through which companies can communicate has evolved markedly – email, Teams, WhatsApp, Slack, in-person… the choices, and indeed preferences of colleagues, are widespread. 

Employee communications is a specialist art form

It has resultantly become more difficult to effectively relay key changes to organisational values, visions and missions in a way that sticks. 

Amid the so-called Great Resignation and Great Reflection, employees want a sense of a purpose in their work, a key part of that being a clear understanding on how their contributions tie into a collective vision that helps the business and themselves to succeed. 

Good internal employee communications are therefore critical. If done well, they can inspire greater productivity, boost satisfaction and help build a team that is on board with the organisation’s direction of travel. 

However, according to our own research, fewer than half of UK employees described their employer as a good communicator. In addition, more than one in six (17%) went as far as to say that they were a bad communicator – this is cause for concern, as poor communications practices can result in a loss of engagement and loyalty that is difficult to rebuild. 

This sentiment is also reflected by a 2018 survey of 2,000 British employees which found that more than half (56%) were unable to recite their organisation’s vision. 

Top tips to effectively communicate a corporate vision

Having a well-established channel of business-to-employer communication will certainly help when sharing news about changes in the company. 

Regulatory and consistency are important. Firms should always communicate with employees to keep them informed and engaged in the process, at the same time ensuring that they do not feel left behind. This also means involving them at every stage, creating a culture of transparency that is underpinned by a true belief in what you are getting your team to buy into. 

But how can organisations make sure the communications themselves stick? Based on our experience, here are three fundamentals to focus on: 

  • Telling a story: What are you asking your employees to buy into? How is their contribution going to help the organisation achieve its goals? Communicating a vision or mission is about creating and telling a story that engages. 
  • Using multiple forms of media: Not every member of staff will have same communications preferences. Some will prefer email, while others will engage better with visual forms of media such as video. When communicating a change in vision or mission, be sure to cover as many bases as you can to get your message across to everyone. 
  • Holding one-to-one conversations: In addition to company- or team-wide comms, don’t forget to treat every employee as an individual and hold personal conversations. This will give them the opportunity to ask questions in confidence, and offer employers the chance to achieve that all important buy-in. 

Communications between businesses and their employees matter, especially during periods of change when achieving buy-in across your team is paramount to the organisation moving forwards as one. 

For those unsure where to start or in need of solidifying their internal comms strategy, Magenta is here to help every step of the way.

Jo Sutherland