Keep sharing the love
They say every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the challenges of lockdown, we’ve found that working from home with no face-to-face contact prompted businesses to ramp up communications with their team.
For businesses that have been out of lockdown for a few months, it’s a good time to assess the internal communications you did during that period. Have you kept it up or have you fallen back into old habits?
Internal communications can often be overlooked when we are so outwardly focussed on engaging with our customers, especially as we try to recover from the economic impact of lockdown.
But keeping your staff engaged post-crisis is more important than ever to boost morale, provide reassurance, and create a channel for feedback, debate and discussion.
While you may not need to keep up the formal communication with your team daily or weekly when you're not in crisis, staff are used to hearing from you more often.
Consider putting some more permanent internal communications tactics and channels in place to ensure you keep building on the goodwill you started creating a few months ago.
If your team is working from home more, keep using technologies that worked well during lockdown to help replace face-to-face interaction.
What was most effective platform for online meetings – Zoom, Skype, MS Teams? What works for one business may not appeal to another.
Choose the best chat or text app for your team, such as What’s App or MS Teams, to keep the informal banter going throughout the day and avoid cluttering up everyone’s email inboxes.
Have a good system in place for document sharing, such as Google docs, sharepoint and dropbox. Again, this avoids overloading people’s inboxes and ensures all your businesses’ valuable documentation is stored in one secure, easy-to-access location.
To ensure your team gets the most value from communicating through these channels, put a few rules in place for how each one should be used. Get input from your team and tweak things to suit until everyone gets it.
With flexibility for your team to work from the office or from home, take the opportunity to mix up your internal communications. Keep your team more engaged by using a combination of face-to-face (eg. monthly debriefs), written (eg. e-newsletter) and on-line (eg. staff Facebook page). Frequency and channel will depend on the nature of your business and the number of staff you have.
Businesses were forced to adapt during lockdown and find new ways of working. Communicating with staff became more valuable than ever. If we learn from this experience and keep the momentum going, you will be ready to tackle the next crisis that comes your way.
The team at HMC has extensive internal communications experience. Get in touch to see how we could help your business.