My previous post – ‘Why Is My Contribution Not Taken Seriously?’ received many thought provoking insights from readers.
Most felt Tony needed a better understanding of his role, seek feedback and put a plan, work with the goals in mind, prioritize his assignments, gain commitment from leaders, solicit ideas from employees, engage more with stakeholders and provide creative, value additions to the business.
Thank you everyone for contributing.
To me, managing birthday lists and anniversaries is best left to managers who lead teams. That’s working on the fringe and won’t get a communicator much respect or attention from leaders. After a while, most stakeholders will end up doing their own stuff leaving you out in the cold.
If you aren’t thinking of your business there is little chance that your communication initiatives will add value to stakeholders in any form or shape.
How do you know if you are a fringe player or a business enabler?
It boils down to how deeply connected you are with how the business works and what drives the organization. Check if your communication is linked to what you are delivering to your customers.
Gauge if your business involves you in discussions early in the life cycle or comes to you at the very end when they need the communication to ‘go out’. If it is the former, your team and you are valued. If it is the latter, you have a serious issue on hand, which needs addressing.
How often are you sought for opinions and guidance on what works best?
Does your organization engage you to gather insights and perspectives on the ‘pulse’ of employees?
What can you do to make communication core to your business?
- Don’t lose sight of your business focus, why you exist as an organization. Ask why your communication team exists. Is it contributing to your business’s focus areas or to overcome the inadequacies that exist within the organization? If it is the latter, you need to reconsider your role.
- Use insights to drive decision making and to steer conversations on communication interventions.
- Embed yourself in the business and understand how your organization makes profits. Ask: What guides business thinking? What challenges leaders and employees face each day while delivering their work?
- Before you communicate any program evaluate if it aligns with your company’s purpose, that you have demonstrated a link to the values your organization stands for and how you expect employees to live the brand and how authentic you are in your tone of voice.
With business context comes respect for the role since you can hold a sensible conversation on the impact and value of communication.
Seek opportunities to be on the frontline and observe the dynamics at play while business gets done. You may even end up spotting many ways of adding value over and above what communication can do.
It helps to demonstrate business acumen. Get communication to be central to your organization’s agenda.