Producing results through internal communication

How do you create a clear picture of goals and direction in a global company when it is a fact that the employees often drift off mentally when the management is discussing strategy?

Converting a strategy into easy-to-understand communication that enables the individual manager to paint the big picture while at the same time describing the individual employee’s role is something of a challenge.

Nevertheless, Novozymes has taken up this challenge, and the result has just come in – 72% of the employees surveyed have a clear picture of how they and their department can contribute to achieving the overall strategy. By comparison, the average for other companies in an international benchmark is 46%.

“The result has been achieved by rethinking the way that we communicate the strategy,” says Jeppe Glahn, Head of Internal Communication at Novozymes. “We have converted our strategy into a simple picture – a metaphor – and thereby created the framework for the communication. At the same time we have focused on upgrading management communication competencies, and we have made use of a broad range of different forms of communication such as storytelling, animated presentations, ExM roadshows, and communication tools for managers.”

At Novozymes we believe that producing results is closely linked with employees being able to see the goal and understanding how they themselves can contribute so that their own work makes sense in the big picture.

The background
Every two or three years Novozymes conducts a detailed survey of the employees to see how well the internal communication is functioning. The results of the third survey in the series have just come in, and this has been the most comprehensive survey so far.

The survey covers all printed, electronic, and face-to-face communication. For the first time we have used an external consultant to compare the results with those of other companies. The database in which Novozymes has been benchmarked includes, among others, a number of pharmaceutical companies, and it covers a total population of 1.4 million employees.

Novozymes did very well compared with other companies, and in many cases has set new standards.