The new reality the world is now facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak and social uprisings has brought with it unforeseen challenges and has forced a complete restructuring of how we do and run a business.
Now more than ever, business leaders must step up to the plate and invest in their Organizational Brand Equity (OBE) to strengthen their internal communications and maintain a robust organizational culture that can prepare their teams to weather the storms ahead.
Indeed, working in a virtual environment is opening up new paths of business innovation and management leadership. At the same time, having a remote workforce and working in an isolated environment presents new challenges, as well as causing widespread anxiety and fear. Employees can easily feel disconnected from your brand’s purpose, its leadership structure, and their co-workers.
Working remotely can be exhausting, and even more so if employees don’t have a genuine commitment to the company or feel a passion for their work. Especially in times of crisis, exercising and maintaining excellent internal communications with our workforce can be a decisive factor in determining a company’s overall productivity.
The new remote working ecosystem requires daily rituals that support two-way engagement through platforms that allow a transparent exchange of information while also promoting teamwork and solidarity. Open and trusted communication channels are the answer to avoid rumors, panic, and is the glue that will hold your team together despite physical distance.
Here are six tips on how to communicate with your team during a crisis:
1. Be honest with your employees. Transparent communication fosters trust and reduces uncertainty.
2. Team leaders need to keep employees motivated and engaged. Feedback is critical and can reduce blind spots.
3. Use trustworthy communication channels like internal platforms that allow your employees to receive crucial information at the same time, and gives them a space to ask questions.
4. Maintain weekly meetings with all departments or team leaders via online communication tools to avoid misunderstandings. Be open, transparent, and available to address questions and concerns.
5. Communicate regularly with your team. Fix dates for meetings, so your employees are aligned. Employees need to be heard and know their input is valuable.
6. Don’t react immediately to all statements made by the authorities, and when you do, take your time to think about the tone and wording used.
No matter your industry, internal communication strategies are critical and can be the make or break element of your business. Promoting your organization’s culture through internal communications fosters a sense of belonging between your workforce and your brand, as well as between your employees.
The current economic, social, and health crises the world is facing are forcing business leaders to evolve their internal communications programs to new levels. The focus is on accelerating decision-making, challenging employee’s knowledge, and providing information that your team can rely on to make the right decisions for your company.
Effective internal communication reassures if and how your strategy has changed and what that means to each team member. Business leaders need to identify who your team’s primary communicators are and make sure that these people can practice empathy, as well as utilize great listening and delivery skills.
One of the most deciding factors in whether or not your business will survive these trying times is its ability to adapt. Have you adjusted your internal communications strategy to answer the calls of this new reality? Is your workforce informed, aligned, and equipped with the necessary tools to navigate through these new and unchartered waters?
If you haven’t already, our advisors at DuartePino are here to help you create and launch the right internal communications strategy for your business.
This post was written by Jessica Cruz, Lic.R. 203, Managing Partner & Senior Comms Advisor at DuartePino.
DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing communications to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. From Fractional CMOs to business advisory services, contact us to learn how our team can help with growth strategies for your organization.