In a recent edition of Communication World, Steve Crescenzo writes about corporate communications for employees and their disinterest relative to other distractions like Facebook, You Tube, et al. While this is a challenge, there is a bigger challenge.

One of the biggest problems I see in companies I work with today is the lack of adoption of the mission, vision and values of the companies by the employees — all of the employees.

It starts, or doesn’t start, at the top.

Ideally, every manager of every department needs to be modeling the mission, vision and values of the firm if they expect their employees to be doing the same.

Unfortunately this is frequently not the case. In fact, it is more likely each department is interpreting the mission, vision and values of the firm differently than every other department.

You frequently see this in a siloed organization.

How do you know? Go around and interview each department head and ask them about the mission, vision and values of the firm.

The lack of consistency is disappointing.

With a firm that is misaligned, it’s impossible for the employees to be aligned. They’re getting conflicting signals at every turn.

This goes back to treating employees as you would want employees treating customers — assuming you’re in a customer-focused business.

If employees are getting conflicting information, customers are getting conflicting information from the different employees with whom they interact. This is confusing and results in a lack of consistency in communications and ultimately a lack of trust by the consumer.

So how do we know what employees’ mission, vision and values are?

The same way we find out what customers want from our company — we ask them. You can do this with a survey but you can also do this by having one-on-one discussions with your employees and determining if they are in alignment, or if they even understand, the mission, vision and values of your firm.

Once you know where the discrepancies are, corporate communications can work with executive and department management to craft internal messages that reiterate the mission, vision and values in a way that’s meaningful to every employee.

This is time-consuming and takes a real commitment from the management of a company; however, it can be achieved with a strong leader.

I’m confident the employees at Zappos understand the mission, vision and values of Zappos. The company does a great job of determining if employees are a good fit for the company. Tony Hsieh walks the talk and my guess is his managers do as well.

Every manager is a role model for every employee. I encourage managers to check in with each employee once or twice a year to discuss mission, vision and values to ensure there is alignment. If not, determine what it will take to get alignment. This will ensure a much smoother running organization, less turnover, more teamwork, greater productivity and job satisfaction.

Corporate communications can facilitate creative communications of the mission, vision and values in many different ways, but first they have to be established and reinforced by every member of the management team or else the employees are left guessing, or worse yet, not caring.

What effective ways have you seen for corporate communications to engage employees?

Tom Smith

Experienced marketing professional who has worked with more than 120 clients in 18 different vertical industries. ♦ Differentiate products and services by improving UX and delivering memorable CX to create an emotional connection to the brand. ♦ Obtain insights from analytics to solve business problems and drive revenue. ♦ Develop and implement marketing campaigns that double traffic and leads in three months. ♦ Certified Marketing Automation Professional ♦ Certified Voice of the Customer (VOC) Professional