Ever since the lockdown has been announced, internal communication managers are looking for the ‘right’ communication. What is the best way to quickly disseminate operational instructions? How to explain to your workers that they will be placed in economic unemployment and that their income will decline? Or on the contrary, that they are working in an essential sector and will have to continue to work, despite the fear of being contaminated? How to motivate colleagues who are teleworking for the first time? Is it possible to talk about anything else than the corona virus?
After having communicated about the new health and safety rules, the practicalities and the economic consequences, why not take a step back and question yourself and your staff about the following topics:
- The content of your communication
Are the topics you’re addressing also your employees’ priorities? Have you answered their questions? How do they perceive the actions you implemented in your company?
- The tone of your communication
Are your messages clear and unambiguous? Are there no rumors or misinterpretations going around? Is it better to show empathy or to stick with the facts? Do you need posters or a video message from the CEO?
- The effectiveness of your communication channels
Do your messages reach your employees? How do they prefer to be informed? How important is the manager in the communication process, especially at a distance?
- The level of motivation and commitment of your employees
How do they feel? How are they coping with teleworking on a large scale? Or the new ways of working on site? Are they afraid for their own future and that of the company?
- Involvement of management and middle management in information sharing
Has the management taken the floor yet? Does the middle management continue to fulfill its indispensable role of relaying information? Do the messages strike the right tone? Do you help managers to communicate appropriately and effectively with their teams?
The answers to these questions will not only give you a clearer vision of the impact of your current communication, and allow you to adjust it if necessary, but also provide you with indicators that will be very useful once the confinement is lifted. And interviewing your staff is also a way of showing interest in them.
Adopting effective internal communication will help you keep your troops motivated and engaged and maintain an indispensable link between your teams. This will make you all the more ready to restart your activities when circumstances permit.
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