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8th January 2021

Partner Insights: COVID pandemic highlights why talking to your staff is so critical

 Following the news that many of us will be working from home until the end of January at the very earliest, it is hard to imagine when, or even if, we will ever work in the same way as we did before the pandemic.

While some organisations had certainly embraced flexible working, it is fair to say that they were in the minority. Now, with almost half of the working population logging on from home, businesses have been forced to embrace a move to flexible, hybrid models of working, and while that has its benefits, it also has its challenges.

Many business leaders, who have had to balance new working practices and organisational survival since March, have realised the importance of internal communications for sharing information with their teams in a practical, yet positive way.

Wherever your team is currently based, it’s important to ensure everyone is kept in the loop, especially in times of social and economic uncertainty when anxiety levels are high.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled our top tips for ensuring you make the most of your internal communications in the challenging months ahead.

  1. Choose your medium carefully – you don’t necessarily need to communicate every message in the same way. An important company announcement can be shared via email, updates about the team Lottery syndicate can be done in a quick team Whatsapp and Microsoft Teams or Zoom can really come into their own for brainstorms. Think about what it is you want to say and decide from there which channel is the most appropriate. And if in doubt, pick up the phone
  2. Think about your tone – it’s ok to be light if you’re updating the team about general goings on but always remember that this is a time of high anxiety for many people so it pays to be cautious
  3. Keep it simple – good advice for all things comms. Always keep your messages clear and concise. Leave as little room for misunderstanding as possible, especially when you might be communicating with someone who is juggling more than just work at home
  4. Keep it regular – even if there isn’t necessarily much to say, make sure you keep lines of communication open. Little and often is the key here, even if you’re just checking in, let your team know that you are thinking of them and keeping them up to date
  5. Listen – this isn’t a one way street, listen to what your team has to say and shape your messages accordingly

Of course, if in doubt, we’re always available to offer advice. At Effective, we help businesses manage their top-down and change communications in a variety of ways, including:

  • Strategising key messages and channels
  • Writing and distributing updates on behalf of senior leaders
  • Drafting and sharing newsletters for company updates and news
  • Creating videos for both formal and informal announcements and engagement
  • Arranging surveys to gauge employee feedback for critical two-way dialogue

For more information contact Katherine Kennedy at Effective Communication on kkennedy@effcom.co.uk

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