Recent research reports about the workplace focus on the increased stress levels and poor work-life balance due to the long hours of work.
A major bi-products of this is a wider than ever divide between leadership boards and their middle management and junior teams. One can explain these gaps but the real issue that needs confronting is that many middle and junior teams will cite poor communication and engagement from leadership… How do we solve this?
The obvious answer is to create a stronger internal comms approach so that the key messages of the board are constantly reaching these audiences and that they do not feel so disengaged.
However who should fulfill this role? HR? Communications?
Neither have been effective as yet in solving the issue so we are proposing a solution – to create a new role that is focused on working with the board on culture and strong communication to the internal teams.
This is more than just comms but working with the board on the vision, the messaging, values, behaviours and trust – ensuring trust in leadership. To achieve this will take characters that are happy to challenge the leadership on these issues and who have really experienced what this means themselves.
Where would find such characters?
Former leaders, yes, but our suggestion is those from the field of sport who bring fresh eyes and really understand the importance of trust, communication, team work, culture and pressure. At the end of the career of a great sporting player, the real skills they will have in abundance is an understanding of just how important these traits are to success.
Few will ever experience the pressure moments a top sports player will face in their career. Yes, accepted, these moments are not life or death but they often feel as such and sports players have to face public feedback and criticism to a level that very few others will face in life.
What is always impressive about top sporting players is that they are so often full of respect, care, compassion and understanding for others. They also believe fully in trust, friendship, teams, honesty (sometimes brutally so), culture and communication.
Communication between teams, colleagues and with coaches, press and audiences are all vital. They really do understand comms to a far better level than most.
In a workplace under pressure, there is such a logical role for sporting players to play alongside boards. Yes it is an extra cost but logic says it will repay itself through best internal comms, retention and increased productivity.
It is worth reflecting upon and maybe even exploring.