A few weeks ago I penned a piece that I published on LinkedIn entitled Silence Is No Longer An Option. That particular issue of The Silence Is No Longer An Option Chronicles (I just made that up) was written by me (duh) but it had to do with my own silence no longer being an option — in this case on the topic of… well see for yourself and then come back and read this issue.
This issue of the TSINLAOC, however, while written by me (again, duh) is aimed outwardly – specifically at business leaders the world over.
Come Into the Light
I just came across this truly fantastic piece that ran on April 3 on MarketWatch. I mean how great is this title?
The basis of the article is research from a study of LinkedIn posts by CEOs around the world since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, comparing the posts’ reaction and engagement rates to content created before the pandemic.
Here’s the money shot from the piece:
“While many CEOs and leaders believe they are effectively communicating with their employees and key stakeholders through internal communications channels like email, company video broadcasts, Workplace from Facebook or intranets, a recent study from The Brunswick Group found that 80% of employees expect to hear from their CEO on social media during a crisis. Yet 40% of CEOs are not using social channels to communicate to key stakeholders about COVID-19, according to TBWA’s audit.”
Here’s the main themes of the posts with the most engagement:
- Gratitude to internal teams
- Ensuring business continuity during the crisis
- How the company is helping, giving back or contributing
This is not rocket science here boys and girls.
On one hand you have CEOs/leaders believing they are are effectively communicating with their employees and key stakeholders — which is great. The problem is they’re doing all this communicating via internal channels ONLY.
On the other hand you have over 3/4 of employees saying they want their CEOs/leaders to share these kinds of messages with the world aka social media yet only 40% are actually doing that.
How’s this for why:
“Of the top 25 most active global CEOs on social media, 52% don’t have an active presence on LinkedIn, and only 28% have posted during the coronavirus crisis.”
Novelty or Luxury Anyone?
Way too many leaders still look at social media as a novelty or a luxury. Oh sure they can hire someone to manage their social accounts for them – hardly a new concept. But that then requires them (or someone on their team) approving anything that gets posted, Tweeted, etc. under their name/account.
They simply do not realize the power that social media has; they do not realize the impact social media has. People, in this case, their very own employees, want to see them posting content that shows the whole world what they think of their employees i.e. gratitude to internal teams.
Sure it’s nice to get an email from the CEO singing praises up and down.
But when someone sees this same message out on the streets for the whole world to see… then it becomes real; then it means something; then it tells the staff that this CEO really means what he/she said in that inside-only email.
It’s All About Leadership
To me this ALL speaks to leadership. Period. Plain and simple. The best leaders in the world would read this piece and say aloud “Yeah, no kidding, Steve. I already do this. Why wouldn’t I? I am damn proud of my team or damn proud of what we’re doing to help, etc. and I want the world to know about it.”
Unfortunately the best leaders in the world are severely outnumbered and COVID is merely reminding us all who the best leaders really are.
And sadly, those leaders who don’t get it, even in the face of such an Earth-shaking, seismic shift in literally EVERYTHING we do, will NEVER get it.
Those are the leaders who face an uncertain future. I absolutely believe this to be true.
I welcome your thoughts as always.