Ask the leader connects employees directly to a leader in a structured and planned way without any filtering. The means by which a leader can foster direct, two-way interaction with their employees include the following:
Dedicated email address.
Leader’s blog.
A facility for sending questions/comments to the leader via the intranet.
Scheduled time slot for the leader to take telephone calls from employees to discuss their issues, concerns and ideas.

The leader’s commitment to these forms of direct interaction is a powerful symbol for open and transparent communication to strengthen trust and build engagement.

Green TickThis tactic is useful for:


 Mitigating the filtering of important information so the leader knows first-hand the opinions, mood and concerns of employees, and employees receive a direct response.
Getting buy-in and commitment to the leader’s vision, and the values of the organisation or division.
Giving employees a voice back to the leader.
Identifying potential hot spots.
Providing employees with insight into the leader’s priorities.
Raising the leader’s profile.

cloudyThings to consider:


Establish a communication conduit appropriate for the target audience, e.g. telephone, intranet, email, blog, etc.
Develop guidelines about the purpose and desired outcomes of the ‘Ask the leader’ tactic. This ensures it doesn’t become a vehicle for venting problems and issues that should be addressed by employees’ immediate supervisors.
Determine a schedule for the leader’s availability. In a large organisation or division, the leader may wish to take employees’ telephone calls only at an appointed time.
Have an ‘Issue of the Month’ to focus attention on specific topics. Promote that topic widely via posters, newsletters or an email from the leader.
Establish the turn-around time for getting back to employees with information the leader was unable to provide.
Archive employees’ questions and leader’s answers to create a valuable knowledge resource.

Tone BulbHelpful tip:


Publish a summary of topics raised by employees (ensuring anonymity of participants if necessary) together with the leader’s response. This communicates key messages about issues of the day to a broader audience. Select the most appropriate communication tactic(s) for this purpose.
Category: Electronic