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.