There has been a sea-change in the way we have communicated over the past two years. There have been millions of words written about how we now plan our workplaces and how we maintain the best relationships within our teams.
But there hasn’t been that much on ensuring that you build the ability to ‘flex’ into your communications plan. And yet we think that is a critical element. The pandemic might be waning, but it is not over, and at any time a new variant may force us to rethink the way we work yet again.
And it’s not just the pandemic. People are actively looking for a better work-life balance, so the demand for hybrid or remote working has grown significantly, to a point where candidates expect all companies to offer some form of non-office working options.
Add to that the changes that might be coming our way because of climate change, and you can see that there is no such thing as a status quo as far as our working lives are concerned.
How does this impact comms?
Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been actively working with our clients to make sure they have clear internal comms that reflect their working environments, team dynamics and business strategies.
As part of that work, we’re making sure companies are planning for future change, so that their comms strategy is flexible and supports their HR processes and the wellbeing of their teams.
What does this mean in practice?
Companies should be communicating in lots of different ways: email, video call, face-to-face meetings, team meetings, newsletters, updates. In our experience, this is best done by collaboration between the marketing and HR departments – it delivers a much more holistic view of the organisation and helps to make sure that nothing’s missed.
Some communications need to be one-way – introducing a new policy or process, for example. Others, like feedback sessions or regular personal reviews, are best face-to-face if poss. By putting blended communications in place, organisations can adapt easily to changes in working practices.
Part of a good communications strategy is listening. This is particularly important when people are working remotely.
While it’s good to have working flexibility, people still need to feel connected to their teams and their line managers, so regular catch ups where leaders listen to their people, ask questions and take opinions on board will help to build trust.
Increased connection for remote workers
If you need to change the way you work, and that means more people working remotely more often, you need to flex your communications to be in touch more often. Organisations now have video calls set up as a matter of course, and these are a great way to check in with remote workers.
One of our clients hosts a virtual coffee session with their team twice a week – everyone brings a brew and catches up on work and life. Use opportunities like this to help build and maintain relationships that work both remotely and in the office.
Make this your new normal
The pandemic was certainly an eye-opener for communications professionals and for organisations in general. At the time, companies effectively put crisis communications in place.
But the change in working practices has been so systematic that blended, flexible communication should be the new normal. Now is the time to revisit what you may have set up in a hurry! And review it with what would ideally work longer-term for your organisation.
Collaborating with Padua Communications
If you’d like some help and support in managing your internal communications so that you’re supporting your teams no matter where they are, just book a meeting with us today.
We can tell you more about our Changes and Absolute Beginners programmes and how we can foster brilliant internal comms, working where your marketing and HR meet. We can help define visions and values and make sure that your greatest asset – your people – are on board during good times and challenge. We can work if you’re a newer business (the Absolute Beginners package is for you) or work with more established organisations with our Changes package.
We’ve designed the programmes to have a standalone element and to integrate with your existing systems to help organisations no matter where they are on their growth journey.
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