Three Steps to Strategic Communication for IT Leaders
Somewhere in the midst of project management challenges, budget forecasting and HR initiatives internal communication is pushed to the wayside within many IT organizations.
Eighty two percent of IT leaders agree that senior leaders and decision makers would benefit from having more insight into what goes on at the line levels of IT, according to a MarketWatch press release.
As software and technology consultants, we know the importance of relaying information to employees and asking for feedback on an ongoing basis. That’s why we’ve outlined three steps IT leaders should take to become strategic communicators.
1. Understand the Line Levels of IT
There’s a significant opportunity for CIOs, CTOs and other IT leaders to immerse themselves in the line levels of their organization.
“When organizations seek insights and ideas from their non-management IT employees, they are able to better comprehend core issues, develop more practical strategies and devise superior methods to execute IT programs,” said TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell.
Successful strategic communication begins with the C-suite. Technology leaders can understand the line levels of IT by speaking to their consultants, mobile developers and software engineers as co-workers, rather than superiors. Be friendly, confident and natural in all of these interactions. Make a habit of communicating with employees openly on a daily basis. As a result, you will be viewed as an invested, trustworthy leader.
2. Ask Employees for Direct Feedback
Many IT professionals, especially millennials aim to be a positive force in the workplace. However, hierarchical structures and top down communication makes this goal challenging. Of course, management plays a very specific role within IT organizations, functioning as decision makers, corporate communicators and financial strategists.
Asking employees on the line for feedback shows humility and a unique sense of integrity. Some HR leaders attempt to spearhead this process by conducting employee satisfaction surveys. Even though this is a step in the right direction, management should be intentional about including line level employees in relevant meetings. When employees understand the strategic vision of the company and feel like their voice is heard turn over usually subsides.
3. Display Quiet Confidence Through Your Body Language
“Power signals make male executives look like leaders. Or at least they did in a hierarchical, command and control setting. But when it comes to leading collaborative teams and building high trust work environments, those same behaviors can undermine a leader’s efforts” Carol Kinsey Goman said in a Forbes article on body language.
That’s why it’s so important for IT leaders to show emotion in appropriate settings, to listen, to be an “empathetic sounding board” for employees and most importantly to be approachable.
If you are looking to improve your communication with line level employees at an IT organization, then please contact us so we can discuss your goals.
Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee via Flickr