The Keys to Writing a Monthly CEO or Manager Letter to Your Team
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
One of the best tools for getting your message out to your team on a regular basis is the monthly CEO or manager letter. Of course, the frequency of which you send them out can vary, but the key is to keep it consistent.
Clark Johnson, who led Pier 1 Imports, wrote a weekly letter to all his associates for over seven years. This was during a time when the company was opening a new store every week. Johnson stuck to one subject: customers.
The Power of Communication
The CEO/Manager Letter is a great way to get your message out to everyone in your company to build trust, teamwork, and results. People like to know how what they do is affecting the bottom line, so tell them what’s going on.
The purpose of the monthly communication is to:
Repeat and reinforce the goals and objectives month in and month out, so they become clear.
Praise performance-producing people and thank everyone else.
Keep everyone informed about business successes.
Point out team members or whole departments that reinforced company values through their actions.
Be sure to vary the message in each month’s letter to keep these communications fresh and interesting.
The key to the success of a regular update is receiving regular input from across the company. Be sure to include information from all managers, departments, and functions in the update.
Consistency Leads to Success
The messages you want to get across to the employees of your company must be repeated, especially messages about things that seem obvious to you as the company’s leader.
Suppose you have a goal to grow sales from $60 million to $100 million over the next three years. You hold a big meeting to announce the goal and discuss the plans. Everyone seems to understand and support the goal, and to be excited to make it happen.
But what if you don’t mention the goal again during the next six months? You may see a lot of shrugging shoulders when you walk the four corners and ask, “What’s our main corporate goal? What are we trying to accomplish?” A few employees might vaguely remember the $100 million goal, but they very well might think you didn’t really mean it; after all, they haven’t heard a word about it for six months.
The missing piece of the puzzle? Repetitive communication.
You Want News
There’s an old saying: “No news is good news.” But in business, nothing is further from the truth.
Lack of frequent, consistent communication erodes trust. Intermittent, partial, or flaky communication fosters distrust. The levels of trust and communication rise and fall together. Building trust through clear communication can be one of your most valuable tools or, if ignored, can become the root of serious problems.