C-Suite Executives Communication with Employees and HR

How C-Suite Executives Can Effectively Communicate with Internal Employees and Human Resources

Communication in almost any form can be challenging, but those in the C-Suite face a variety of obstacles and hurdles when speaking with those on different levels, especially when connecting with those on the human resource floor.

C-Suite Executives have long had a false and negative reputation for being the “big guy” (or gal, to be fair) that hang out behind their desks the majority of the time. Employees not involved in certain aspects of a business often assume that executives do nothing more than hold lengthy meetings, take extended lunches and entertain important clients, when the exact opposite may be true.

When it comes to dining out with corporate buddies, research tells us that the majority of senior executives only spend 35 minutes out of the full hour of their lunch. In fact, many of them also work through their lunch break at least three times a week. And those lengthy meetings? According to the same research, 45% of Chief Officers feel that employees and executives would be more productive if those get togethers were limited to once a week.

So how can executives better communicate with their employees? Seeking guidance from other CEOs can be very valuable:

Spark the Fire for Communication & Engagement

In a recent interview, Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy, contemplates this question, “How am I going to deepen my relationship with employees and deepen the conversation that goes on where they are?” He goes on to advise that we should become a part of the conversation rather than having it go on around us. Don’t wait for your human resource department to come to you with their concerns, be willing and able to go to them with yours. Sharing is caring.

The majority of line managers rely on accountants to provide them with financial support, such as budgeting and monthly reporting, but according to a recent survey, “HR’s influence in the workplace and with the C-suite has increased more than 50 percent over the past two years,” implying that HR initiatives have become more increasingly aligned with business strategies, and more involved in planning the annual budget.

Many leaders believe and support the idea that every HR team member should take responsibility for some line items in the budget. Encourage team ownership with your HR department and have them take on the stationary budget, coordinating travel and/or accommodation.

Let Them Know You’re Listening

Another way of effectively communicating with people is to understand them first in order to connect with them more intimately. Often people in different levels of an organization are intimidated by the “big boss,” but HRPA believes that HR departments are highly valued and appreciated by their leaders and executive officers. They also state that their HR departments need to “forecast critical social, legislative and people trends, leading the organization in implementing programs that have front-line buy-in and really matter to the business.”

This shows that HR leaders are themselves taking on an active leadership role and that they value that role within their business and care about its success. The advice here is that they could possibly learn some important lessons from their C Suite executives on how to become a more effective leader.

Open the communication door with them by giving a much needed pat on the back and offer your own advice. Listen to their ideas on how to improve your organization as a whole.

In conclusion, remember that communication is a two-way street, but often we can lose the science of speaking when we forget about the art of listening.


National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

A Unique and Memorable Holiday Gift Gives Back to National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roanoke Fire and Rescue: Reflections of a 150 Year History commemorates the history, contemplates the present and creates a vision for the future of the Roanoke County, Virginia Fire & Rescue Department. The 200 page, full color hardcover book covers the journey from the 1854 “Watchmen” to the 21st Century firefighters and paramedics.

Complete with fascinating historical accounts, obscure fire technology facts and hundreds of color and black and white images, Reflections of 150 Year History makes an ideal gift for the aficionado, researcher and casual enthusiast.

Readers will be moved by the heartwarming stories of heroic rescues and brave souls who have dedicated their lives to protecting others.

“Their stories are real. Some are devastating. Some are sad. Others are worth celebrating. The men and women who put their lives on the line and provide a valuable public service are ready for the outcome. They celebrate successful rescues. They grieve loss. They laugh about the unforeseen.” Chapter 1, “The Beginning”

Researchers, fact-finders and writers will find useful information included within its pages. According to the National Fire Protection Agency a vehicle fire is reported every 144 seconds, a structure fire every 65 seconds, an outdoor fire every 44 seconds.

Founding fathers and firehouse history buffs will learn Benjamin Franklin founded the first fire department in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1736.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Chapter 1, The Beginning:

“Desired, intentional, controlled fires are beautifully brilliant. Fires manifest light, flames and heat. Fires provide illumination and warmth. Fire is one of earth’s four natural elements.

                  This phenomenon of combustion, however, can also be destructive. Every fire has the potential to kill. Firewhether occurring naturally or caused by carelessness – takes the lives of approximately 100 firefighters every year, according to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Fires leave a lasting effect on the lives of surviving family members and friends. Fires destroy neighborhoods, businesses, wildlife and forests. Fires pollute the environment. Fires affect the quality of air we breathe. Fires burn homes, offices and buildings. Fire puts lives in danger and can be fatal …

                  Firefighters are rescuers. They have a calling to help and protect others. They have a desire to serve their communities. They have a dedication and compassion to put their lives at risk to save others. Firefighters ad rescuers are unsung heroes”

This limited edition signed, coffee-table book promises to be a rare, collectible treasure for anyone involved with, or anyone who knows someone who serves the fire and rescue industry. It’s a perfect gift for the holidays and is available at www.christinamotley.com. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Association.

Join Savvy on Google Hangout on how to Generate Leads & Grow Your Business

Are you a business owner who is frustrated with social media? Do you want hands-on practical advice about how to navigate and manage social media on your own? Do you desire to generate leads and boost sales by using social media to its fullest potential?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you don’t want to miss the first virtual Savvy Social Mastermind Group (SSMG) “Ask the Expert” Google Hangout meeting this Monday, March 31 at 10 a.m. EST brought to you by Triangle North Carolina Social Media seasoned pros Kim Adamof and Christina Motley.

Following the hangout, special guest and the most Tweeted Chief Marketing Officer, Alan See,  will present “How to Effectively Market Your Company and Personal Brand on Twitter,” Tuesday, April 1 at 9 p.m. EST. See is a Top 1% Influencer by Kred and has performed for – and interacts with – some of the world’s most respected brands, including IBM, Cap Gemini, Teradata, SAS Institute, NCR Corporation and AT&T.

Based on his e-book, See will cover:

  • Strategy, Technology and Processes: The key competency areas related to social media and in particular twitter
  • Success factors for building a social network and how to create “twitter curb appeal”
  • Personal examples and best practices

Savvy Social Mastermind Group is the brainchild of CEO and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Christina Motley and Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant Kim Adamof. The two social media experts will provide practical, real-world, how to advice and ideas to business owners and managers, who desire to learn more about and implement social media marketing strategies and tactics to grow their respective businesses.

Learn more about Savvy Social Mastermind Group here, or take advantage of a FREE a free trial month. Member benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Admittance to weekly “Ask the Expert” Google Hangout meetings
  • Monthly educational seminars with guests experts from all over the world who will speak about social media niche topics and the latest technologies
  • Access to additional resources and an Idea Center where professionals can find examples and ideas to implement for future campaigns,
  • A listing in a business directory and much more.


Leadership Philosophy - Christina Motley LLC

Leadership Philosophy #1 – Servant Leadership: A Smart Approach with Moral Imperative

The foundation of leadership is simple. It’s built upon and around relationship, which in turn, are built on the principles of trust, connectivity and credibility, modeling behavior, sharing knowledge and developing people. I have 5 leadership principles that have served me well. Here’s the first one.

A smart approach with a moral imperative to lead for the sake of others comes from best-selling author John Maxwell. As a servant leader, my responsibility is to involve others in mission critical decision-making and enhance their growth and professional development. I do this by empowering people, who work or partner with me to work autonomously, ask for help when needed, take on stretch goals that may push their comfort zone, accept their mistakes and learn from them, ask questions if they don’t understand why or what I’m doing something, and to always feel free to offer their opinions, ideas for improvement and constructive criticism for the betterment of my leadership talents, the team, clients and the company.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina's CEO Shares Leadership Insights | Christina Motley LLC

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s CEO Shares Leadership Insights

J. Bradley (Brad) Wilson,  President and Chief Executive Officer of North Carolina’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield (@BCBSNC), shared his leadership insights to a packed audience during the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s C-Suite Perspectives (@raleighchamber) held Tuesday, December 17 at the Umstead Hotel & Spa (@The_Umstead).  No matter where we are on our leadership journey, Brad’s message was on point.

His inspirational leadership philosophy has proven successful on many fronts. BCBSNC employs over 4,000 people, serves 3.7 million customers, took in more revenue in 2012 than in 2011 although reported  its net income was 67%  below the 2011 level, and  the company reports an average customer satisfaction rating of  8.5 out of 10. Add to that the Board of Trustees approved  a 37%  increase in total compensation in 2012 for Brad, according to the Business Journal of the Triad and the Triangle Business Journal (@TriangleBizJrnl).

Here are Brad’s 4 guiding principles.

  1. Know yourself – your beliefs and purpose.  Know who you are and be genuine and authentic. Don’t act.  Effective leaders know what is important to them and their values. Leaders can answer this question in 1 minute: “Who am I and what is my purpose?”
  2. Listen and listen more. People want to believe in what they are doing. Capture their  hearts first and their  intellect will likely follow.
  3. Know your communication style. Brad has a  Ben Franklin quote in his office: “Speak little and do much” to serve as a daily reminder. As a customer service steward, he does his best to respond to all of his calls and emails. Even if he doesn’t know the answer or isn’t the right person to answer the question, he wants people to know they’ve been heard.
  4. Know your leadership style and embrace it. Be a leader wherever you are. Everyone has the opportunity to lead. It’s an attitude, not a title. Looking at history, those who led by inspiration as opposed to fear are still quoted today. Servant leadership is a responsibility and effective in creating a safe place to value others.

What are your leadership values? Would love to hear @christinamotley on Twitter or email: christina@christinamotley.com.





The 9 Cs of Communicating the Benefits of Membership & WIIFM? | Christina Motley LLC

9 Ways to Communicate Better & WIIFM?

It’s all about WIIFM! The What’s In It For Me approach!

During AENC’s Marketing and Communications conference and luncheon Nov. 1, 2013 at the Sheraton in Chapel Hill, Dave Rendall, author of The Freak Factory and sought-after speaker, presented 9 techniques you can use to ensure you are delivering more value to your group’s members. Read more