Alex Kalomparis Addresses Strategies to Motivate Senior Management [INTERVIEW]
Join the Internal Communications Camp in picturesque Paris on 9th October 2015!
For BOC, this year has been marked by some great Internal Communications and Employee Engagement events, including the Internal Communications Conference in London and the Internal Communications Camp in Barcelona. The speaker line-up at these events included names like Virgin Atlanctic Airways, Heineken, Elsevier, eBay, BBC, London Underground and many other global brands.
Alex Kalomparis, Internal Communications Director at Rolls-Royce, will be joining the IC Camp Paris in October as a speaker once again. C3 Magazine got the opportunity to interview him and learn more strategies on motivating senior management.
Your talk at Internal Communications Camp will address strategies to motivate the senior management. Could you quickly explain your approach?
Our approach on leadership communications at Rolls-Royce is focused in 3 areas: 1) Have compelling content 2) Focus on leaders’ communications capability by assessing their comms styles and training them on storytelling and 3) Ensure they all have visibility plans with a tailored approach that focuses on their comms strengths. In all cases we aim to facilitate dialogue between leaders and their teams vs. broadcasting approach which as we all know could only ever hope to achieve awareness but not engagement.
What triggers do you use to unlock exceptional skills of your team of leaders?
We assess their communications styles and capabilities so we can diagnose what they need to work on. For example for some it may be about being more direct and for others, it could be about being more engaging by using stories and metaphors.
Must Executive Managers be more motivated than their team members?
They must certainly be aligned as a leadership/management community and yes I think they do need to be more motivated as they have a tough job. Executive Managers do not just understand and engage with the strategy, they also need to ensure they create the right climate for their teams to also understand and engage with the strategy and business objectives.
What does it take to be a good leader and how can the required skills be taught?
That is a big question and difficult to answer. I think the definition of a good leader varies depending on what a particular company needs of them. For example what we need of our leaders at Rolls-Royce may be different to other sectors or even our competitors. In terms of how the right skills can be taught; at Rolls-Royce, we have an executive programme that focuses on developing our leaders but allowing them to coach and learn from each other vs. having a consultant teach them how to be great leaders. Companies investing on this and allowing leaders to take time out of their diaries to focus on their own development is a good first step.
How does motivation effect the operational results?
It is absolutely linked. We know for example in parts of our company where motivation/engagement is low the performance is not where it needs to be as well as retention then becoming a risk factor which also reflects on performance.
How would you describe the business culture at Rolls-Royce?
Our values are described in one sentence‚ ‘Trusted to deliver Excellence’ as the products we make across land, sea and air need to be excellent for our customers. Every Rolls-Royce employee feels that they do need to deliver excellence every day. An integral part of that is a strong focus on what our customers need and innovation.
What do you feel is the biggest motivation killer?
I think that it is different things to different people and is not just a “one size fits all”. I imagine not having a clear understanding of the business priorities and vision is right up there. Also if you do not feel appreciated for the contribution you are making, then it would be difficult to continue to be motivated.
What drives you personally to achieve peak performance every day?
The main driver for me has always been the responsibility I feel towards my team, internal customers and colleagues. And by internal customers I do not just mean the executives but the 55,000 Rolls-Royce employees who deserve clear, compelling and engaging internal communications.
About the Author: C3 Magazine focuses on the combination of high-quality content, creativity and technology, develops corporate brand strategies and digital content platforms, facilitates reputation management and supports clients with the communication of complex change processes.