How well does your CEO resonate with the rank-and-file?

Upper-level execs often miss the mark when creating internal messages. Several things factor in, but gaining their trust will help you reach more eyes and ears, more hearts and minds.

Ragan Insider Content

A few weeks ago, Josh Bernoff wrote about an internal memo from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella concerning layoffs.

He criticized Nadella for using the language of a victim, such as “impacting” and “reductions.”

Clearly, the Microsoft corporate communications team helped Nadella develop this message. Rarely does a CEO or senior leader write an important message to employees on his or her own.

Even with a number of communications pros involved (including most likely the senior-level communicator for Microsoft), the message came across as unclear and full of corporate-speak.

Herein lies the challenge for every corporate communicator when helping an executive communicate with lower-level staff.

Having spent 10-plus years in corporate communications roles, I see a few key challenges:

Executives and rank-and-file employees speak different languages.

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