Effective internal communications, building support among leaders and employees, are essential to sustainability strategy. A successful internal campaign can contribute positively to corporate reputation and brand value.
Creating evangelists out of your employees is the employer dream, but a lot of companies are struggling to reach their employees, especially as it relates to sustainability. In today’s landscape, employees—and potential employees—believe companies must lead with purpose and demand organizations that are committed to sustainability. So, how do you reach your people?
Ensure your ERGs are champions of your strategies.
Employee Resource Groups are a great way for organizations to connect like-minded people who are navigating different experiences. While you want to be careful about overstepping boundaries, these groups are often safe spaces for employees, you can find ways to engage. Assure your messages are clear, and aligned to the goals of the ERG, and individual employees. When people recognize their personal goals are aligned, you enable your ERGs to act as a voice for your strategy.
Focus your executive committee.
Your executive committee is your talent and team too. Have each pick a lane as it relates to their responsibilities and interests as well as your corporate sustainability messaging strategy. Have them own being the internal champion for it. This can mean rallying team members to attend or participate in a fundraiser, support other teams’ causes, or just be a general voice to bring awareness to topics in the space.
Recognize the virtuous cycle of Sustainability Messaging.
International motivation can influence external validation and vice versa. Be proud of the sustainability work your company is doing, and create a strategic plan to share wins with all team members. In today’s digital world, consider that your internal communications may be shared as external. Be sure to supply them with tools — copy, images, and CTAs — to share with their own networks.
Meet your team where they are.
There is no “one size fits all” approach. The basics include intranet, email, and community messaging platforms like Slack, but get creative with how you communicate. What about new hire orientations, town hall remarks, video ‘signs’, or QR codes placed around the building? The options are endless.
This is a journey, not a destination.
Communicating internally is not a “set it and forget it” project. Continually evaluate if what you’re saying and doing is resonating . Is it producing the desired results? Keep working and adapt from there. An good way to gauge how you’re doing is issuing an employee survey. Your audience will always be your biggest supporter and critic.
There are a lot of opportunities for you to communicate internally. No one will use all the avenues, but using just one will get you closer to your people. For more inspiration on how to communicate internally, watch Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship’s webinar, “Communicating the Citizenship Message Internally.”
How Ideas On Purpose Can Help
For over 20 years IOP has been helping companies of all sizes with stakeholder-pleasing sustainability reports and impact communications. Feel free to email us to get in touch if you need help with yours.
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