Employee engagement: Top down vs bottom up

It’s often the case that change or transformation is delivered across a business from the ‘C-suite’ down – Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, etc. And the reason it meets resistance? When no meaningful explanation has been given as to why it’s happening.

This means that the drive for change can risk sounding and feeling dictatorial to people elsewhere in the business.

This disconnect, from the top-down and the bottom-up, can result in resistance across all levels of an organisation. And see employees feeling unheard, uncomfortable, and like they’re being told how to do their own job.

Experience tells us, if you’re tasked with delivering a message from above, you need to explain the ‘why’, the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ to be successful.

In business, it often happens that you have ‘talking down’ and ‘talking to’. We make sure that the message our client wants to get across is clear – and delivered in a way that that meets the needs of their core audience. So, we can get the impact that everyone wants.

Steve Gill, Director, Forepoint

What can go wrong with engagement?

When businesses face a failure to engage, or resistance from employees – there’s a need to understand the ‘why’.

Empathy and understanding really are the key to enjoying a successful comms campaign, both from the position of those who are delivering the message in your business – and those who are receiving it.

Graham Bowes, Director, Forepoint

Asking relevant questions allows us to get to the heart of what’s frustrating people in the face of your proposed change, no matter what their position in your workplace.

By showing that we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes – whoever they are and wherever in the business they work – we can make sure that your message lands and results in a successful campaign.

A good agency partner, one with experience in employee engagement, will help you do that. As an external and neutral party, people like us can create a safe and confidential space in which to ask the pertinent questions.

When a company has been evolving for many decades, sometimes it takes an outsider to breathe new life into ideas and solutions.

Director of Tools and Automation – Transformation Practice, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

By helping you to understand peoples’ feelings and opinions within your business, work can begin to develop, create and deliver comms with messaging that resonates with them and works – time and time again.

If you can make a connection – people will get the message. If you can show you’ve got that authenticity, show you mean what you say and can be believed, people will react to you in a constructive way. And, if you can get that right, your comms will work.

Keith Noble, Director, Forepoint

Understanding what drives employee engagement

We’ve found that the most effective communication campaigns explore and explain the consequences of change, they challenge complacency and question people’s personal responsibility, to push understanding and transformation across all levels of the business. They genuinely engage employees – and drive change.

It’s a process which demands that you park any preconceived thoughts or prejudice to consider people’s feelings and attitudes. It needs you to be fair, open and reasonable – and not to expect people to know everything that you do.

And it’s a process that’s always worth the work – because it results in a story with a relevant and robust narrative that’s firmly centred around the what, why, and how for the people in your business.

Graham Bowes, Director, Forepoint

Developing effective employee engagement across your business

Helping you overcome resistance to change requires the right tools – for your particular business circumstances. That means exploring what you, your executive team and managers need to become effective, authentic and relatable communicators. It means giving you the confidence to help deliver what you know will be effective culture change within your organisation.

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