The COVID-19 pandemic has brought remote working front and center, for the safety of employees and the business continuity. A robust and well-executed internal comms strategy has never been more essential.
Many employees are starting to settle into ‘everything-from-home’ being the new normal. And with that brands are shifting from from urgent, actionable communications to sustaining a level of employee communications that have the care and clarity employees need.
So how do you do that? Here are three tips for employee communications:
Have a Single Source of Truth
Now more than ever, we all have multiple channels that are streaming information. Additionally, our personal and professional lives are all mixed together. To help cut through the noise and ensure employees have the most up-to-date and accurate information, be clear about your single source of truth. Communicate all critical messages through a consistent channel and if you don’t already have some type of intranet or internal wiki, consider creating some sort of information hub, where employees can quickly read and access available resources.
Support Culture & Create Community
Outside of the formal, flow of information, ensure you keep talking about the purpose and strategy of your organization and how people’s work and contributions are making it happen.
Also create lighter content around the interests of your people, helping spark conversation and recreate the chatter that takes place when you’re all in the office together.
For example, with tools like Microsoft teams and slack, you can create general interest channels for people – to engage in anything from their favorite recipes to pets! If you have a pre-existing social committee, work with them to move activities from physical to virtual – anything from zoom parties to company-wide fitness challenges, will build camaraderie and a sense of community.
Paint the Big Picture
During times of uncertainty, people’s perspectives can narrow, and they can become very focused on themselves or their immediate needs. Remind them of the context of the situation and the bigger picture. This isn’t just about them, or your organization. There is a broader context in which your message fits and there are others who are also going through this with them. People cope best when they focus less on themselves and are also concerned with the welfare of those around them.
For example – Hotwire has set up an internal comms hub for employees, which hosts information and resources on the situation at hand, employee advice on how to work optimally within our ‘new normal’ and the tools to better communicate in a virtual world.
As we’re all finding our way through these unprecedented challenges, internal comms can be key to keeping your people motivated, confident and productive at this difficult time. It’s all a matter of finding the right tone and mix of channels. So that you ensure employees have information they need, but also stay connected to the brand as well as one another, while staying true to your culture and brand values.