The Illusion of Communication
More often than not, CEO’s of large corporations will communicate their vision to staff through an annual conference. The generic formula of the day involves speeches from the board over a towering podium, a quick break for lunch, and either the first or last half an hour left open for networking with very little else to stop employees from day dreaming about running for the hills.
After the conference is over, CEO’s file their notes smugly, expecting that employees have absorbed every word, bought into their ‘big idea’ and remain engaged in their company. This is a classic example of the illusion of communication. Well I can tell you now; this ‘communication’ is just that.
In order to feel passionately about what they do, employees need to feel like they’re valued, that they belong in a welcoming community and that they understand what drives their business. They need to feel part of a whole, and remain enthusiastic about everything their company stands for in order for them to feel good about themselves and their jobs. It is important to give the employees a voice and to ensure that the voice is well informed.
From my experience, conferences can be extremely effective, but it’s how you engage staff that matters most. In order to create a unique, memorable experience, taking things like venue, different speakers, alternative entertainment and a WOW factor into account are fundamental to bringing your company to life and keeping employees not only excited but impressed. These don’t have to blow budgets either. As long as you think strategically about what you would like to get out of the event, then everything else can follow.
Effective communication to employees is what will drive a company forward, and I believe that conferences can be as exciting and engaging as you want them to be. It’s up to you!