Earlier this week, President Biden delivered a State of the Union speech to the Congress of the United States on how well things are going, the status of key issues, and his vision for the future.
Because it’s always good to communicate, this leads me to ask, “Have you delivered a ‘state of the union’ speech to your team recently?”
If you haven’t, remember this: Lack of communication is a leading cause of disengagement for most employees. Disengaged employees typically do not give you their best effort nor are they as loyal as engaged employees.
Deliver your company’s “state of the union” to your employees regularly and frequently.
If you are already delivering that kind of “state of the union” communication, good job. But how can you make it even better? Consider following this template:
· Be concise, using carefully chosen words and phrases that are easy for employees to absorb.
· Be humble, truthful, and fully transparent. If you’re not, your credibility as a leader suffers.
· Be inspiring to your employees by showing confidence in a positive future. Optimism is healthy.
· Include relevant, relatable, and memorable stories/quotes to emphasize your points.
· For consistency, prepare your leadership team to reinforce key message(s) after your delivery.
· Be in touch by acknowledging the challenges your company has recently faced or is facing.
· Express appreciation for employees’ effort, sacrifice, and contribution to the company’s success.
· Address change, noting what (if anything) has changed and explaining why.
· State current challenges and include your plans to overcome them.
· Give your employees confidence, inspiration, and hope for a positive future.
· Include relevant stories/quotes to reinforce the points you’ll make.
· Don’t lose focus; ask for employees’ commitment to the company’s vision, goals, and values.
· Always listen as you encourage open dialogue with yourself and your leadership team.
· Show genuine appreciation for their interest, involvement, and loyalty.
· Communicate when you will formally address everyone again.
Consider this “state of the union” speech as part of your overall strategic communication plan. By delivering it effectively, you will promote employee motivation, organizational trust, clarity of expectations, and collaborative relationships within and among teams.
Never underestimate the importance of effective communication.
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