How to respond to internal communication challenges
Employees are the best communicators for the external public. They deliver stories of the companies directly and personally. We see that keeping a team updated increases their motivation, engagement and loyalty. However, in 2020-2021 much has changed and we are facing new challenges. Based on my experience, working with different organizations on internal communication strategy brought me to this blog - challenges in internal communications and their solutions.
Challenge #1 - Increase of individualism
Post-Covid communication is interpersonal. It should be adjusted to each and every team member’s abilities and experiences. We should show individual levels of empathy to all team members.
Solution #1 - A Personal Approach. Managers and leaders have to listen and approach each and every individual separately and try to find individual solutions for them.
Challenge #2 - Changed Behavior, Interests, and Beliefs
Recovery and coming back to the office won’t be easy. The pandemic changed our behavior regarding literally everything, including the office and doing tasks. The change applies to our values, working time table, how we organize our day, tasks, and life as a whole.
Solution #2 - Effective and permanent employee communication needs: a personal approach, broadening your perspective, focusing on emotions, and involving a team in a building that is a safe environment.
Challenge #3 - Productivity
Working from home differently affects staff productivity. While some members’ performance increased due to flexible working environments, others are struggling to find balance between work and personal life.
Solution #3 - Flexible approach - the working hours could be divided into flexible and inflexible parts. It means that some parts of the working day do not have a strict framework, whereas other parts of the day are structured.
Challenge #4 - Noise
The pandemic brought a new type of noise to the working environment - this could be the voice of a child or the sound of traffic. This challenges us to keep focused and not be distracted. In addition, there is an internal noise - anxiety regarding our environment and not dedicating all our energy to the tasks at hand. The concept of being able to work from everywhere is followed by the noise that is different in every new environment. This challenges us to get into a flow and working mood.
Solution #4: Accept that noise exists and try to build “isolation” while working from a public space. Always remember that having a special space/spot for working is important for effective communication - silence and the opportunity to talk makes you a fully-fledged member of a team that is seen, heard and understood by everyone.
Challenge #5 - Space Transformation
Over the last 2 years I discovered that I am an office person, while my husband is super happy with working from home. I am sure there are millions like me and others like my husband. The challenge is how to find the best solution for these different people. We should not stress people by coming to the offices, on the other hand we can’t just close all our offices and make everything online. It will lead us to lose good and loyal “office” professionals.
Solution #5 - Create new physical/digital hybrid spaces — and in doing this, pioneer new forms of communication and experience. Giving flexibility and trust to employees will make both groups happy.
What else did Covid change in communications? How should communication models be adapted to a hybrid world? Share your experience, I would love to listen.