Let diversity guide your internal story telling
Humans have an insatiable need for connection and communication.
Storytelling is in our DNA. It’s how we make sense of the world.
And this is equally the case in a work environment.
Keeping team members informed and included when it comes to company decisions, direction, and purpose is essential.
Nature hates a void – if you don’t tell your story, then others will do it for you, with or without the facts.
When employees are given the opportunity to hear and understand why the company they work for is taking a particular course of action, what the goals are and how they intend to achieve them, they are much more likely to support that direction. Or, if you’ve created an environment of co-creation, will provide input and suggestions on how to reach the Intended outcomes in the most efficient, effective and economic way possible.
But, what happens when you have a diverse workforce encompassing differences in gender, culture, language barriers and limited access to technology?
Putting an internal engagement program together isn’t simply a matter of following a formula or ticking boxes.
If you genuinely want to engage your team so that they feel that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves, you need to start with understanding your people, their individual situation and any barriers to accessing and engaging with your story.
We were faced with this situation when creating an internal communications program for leading Australian medical products company, Multigate. With over 200 employees spread across their head office, warehouse and production facility, we had to accommodate more than just location and different work environments when creating the program.
Most of the production team are from a non-English speaking background as well as having no access to a computer or email address. It was clear that relying on written information wasn’t going to effectively include everyone in the organisation in the company’s vision, which was the primary driver for the program and a vital outcome.
And so, Multigate TV was born. Created by the team for the team and ‘airing’ twice a day when the production staff ate their lunch together, it enabled the company to share important information about the company, employee milestones and successes and company events. Supported by a monthly email newsletter and company intranet, every employee had access to the information in a way they could understand and engage with.
When you let diversity guide your internal story telling, being mindful of your diverse workforce and how culture and background, language, and access to technology impact their ability to connect with your message, you’re likely to see the difference between successfully engaging your team in achieving your vision and having to put out the rumour fires.