Why Business Leaders Must Be Content Creators
The way that team leaders communicate with their staff has to change. That more than likely has been true long before COVID upended the way many workplaces operated. But especially in the era of remote and hybrid work, long meetings in the office are no longer possible. Even if there was patience for an hours long meeting, employees could be anywhere in the country or even the world. Getting everyone together for a meeting can be a challenge, if not impossible, and not cost-effective.
To compensate for this, most leaders resort to video conferences, conducting meetings and town halls via platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. But there are a host of problems with that approach that are well recognized by now.
"Zoom fatigue is a real issue, as are the inevitable technical problems that arise," said Clemens Rychlik, chief operating officer at Barcelona, Spain-based digital marketing agency Bourbon Creative.
So that means leaders need new approaches to communicate information to employees in a way that employees can engage with. Leaders, whatever their background, need to become content creators.
4 Reasons Why Leaders Should Be Content Creators
Leaders can be hesitant to change their management style and how they communicate with teams. So why should leaders use content now?
1. Changing Communication Technology
During the past 20 years, blogs, podcasts, online videos and infographics have become a more prominent part of the communication toolkit. This has led to a large array of tools that leaders can use to create communications.
2. Changing Working Patterns
Remote work practices mean that numerous employees are working on different schedules. With leaders as content creators, employees can read, watch or listen to the content when they're at work, without being forced to do extra hours.
3. More Productivity
Another benefit is that meetings tend to be less productive. With some content, like podcasts, employees can listen when completing other tasks, like commuting to see clients, or completing weekly accounts.
4. Longevity of Content
Leaders can also store important content for future reference. Employees working at San Jose, Calif.-based Adam.ai "use Nimbus screen recording to explain the product to newcomers and the tools we use internally," said Huda Gamal, the company's content lead. These videos are kept for future use, meaning that leaders can reduce time explaining the same principle to many people. And if an employee needs a refresher, they can get that without having to ask the manager again.
Mix Content and Technology to Reach More Employees
One of the most significant changes that have fueled remote and hybrid working is the explosion of technology tools available at work. Leaders don't have to stick to just one type of content either. To make content more accessible to all workers, leaders might want to mix and match technology and content.
For example, leaders may want to consider podcasting. Podcasts can be made available over the company intranet and listened to as employees commute or work. They can also be paired with a blog so the same information can be shared in multiple formats.
Addressing Employee Needs and Wants with a Digital Workplace
The workplace is getting more and more digital – both in how we work and where we work
Maintaining a Human-Centered Approach During Digital Transformation
When it comes to digital transformation - people drive change, not technology
The Evolution of Employee Recognition
Leveraging the power of appreciation to improve the employee experience
How to Build a More Innovative and Resilient Workplace Culture
What would happen if every member of your team came to work focused on finding solutions and creating better results?
By making information accessible in two or more formats, employees can choose which they prefer. Information consumption should increase as a result. These communication channels can also be an excellent way for leaders to recognize outstanding employees.
Leaders will also discover that using tools like group chats can help to bring ideas to the floor. Not all employees are social and some may hesitate to share their views and ideas in an in-person meeting, said Rahul Vij, CEO of Punjab India-based Webspero.
"But through messages and chat groups, they can easily say what they feel and their views on different topics," Vij said.
Related Article: How Workplace Leadership Shifted in the Last Year
Social Media Tools Have a Part to Play
Social media groups can also be a forum for communication and information distribution. Businesses can use platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. In many cases, setting up a group is free and access can be restricted to only known users. Facebook parent company Meta in fact has a platform called Workplace to serve business users. Slack and Teams also have social media-like features for sharing, tagging and setting up groups and chats.
On social media, managers can share organizational news, introduce new employees and explain upcoming changes to policies. Employees can use groups to share their thoughts and ideas and participate in collective brainstorming to help the company explore new ideas.
And there are ways that leaders can use these platforms to encourage engagement in other content. For instance, managers could tag all new staff members into a group or use it to run polls, giveaways like monthly raffle prizes, and live video broadcasts.
Running a successful group can be a big job, however. Leaders will need to ensure there are clear platform and group administrators to help with simple tasks such as moderation of comments, and managing access and security. Members of the HR, IT and communications teams will need to be involved.
About the Author
Kaya Ismail is a business software journalist and commentator with years of experience in the CMS industry. He is also the Founder of Wordify, a content marketing agency for software vendors.