Whenever I talk about leaders’ blogs on intranets, the same issue inevitably arises. It goes like this:
“My CEO/president/senior executive is blogging on the intranet, but employees won’t leave any comments. He/she posted a really important/interesting item, but only got a few responses. He/she thinks it’s not worth the effort if nobody is going to comment.”
While I can’t speak to each individual company or blog post, I can make some general recommendations about how to get employees to engage with leaders on their internal blogs:
1. Write about things employees want to talk about
A lot of the executive posts I see are one-way, top-down declarations of fact. They may be interesting and well-written, but they don’t leave employees a lot of room to say anything other than, “Thanks for sharing,” and most employees won’t bother with that.
Even the most straightforward report can be retooled so it invites conversation. Consider a post explaining why the company made a new acquisition. Instead of explaining why the company acquired the new business, why not discuss how to integrate the new employees into the company’s culture?
This encourages employees to help problem-solve based on their experiences with the company’s culture.