As many organizations prepare for a return to work, your employees are relying upon you to share frequent, clear updates about decisions that are being made within your organization.
It’s your responsibility as a leader to make sure that you’re making effective internal communication a top priority during this time of crisis.
One of the most important factors in successful communication is to set clear communication guidelines. And to meet them.
Be consistent so that your employees know what to expect from you.
Uncertainty is a breeding ground for anxiety. When people don’t have access to information, or only receive partial information, they fill in the blanks on their own. And the last thing you need right now is to have employees hypothesizing scenarios with one another.
The current reality is that no one truly knows what the future holds. However, as your organization navigates the current situation, it’s important that decisions and changes be communicated to everyone at the same time. This will ensure that people don’t hear updates through the grapevine. This simply puts people on edge and impacts productivity.
Here are three ideas to help your organization ensure that all of your employees are receiving clear and coherent messages about decisions and changes that are taking place within your organization.
1. Determine a communication schedule
Decide how frequently updates will be sent to employees. This could be daily, weekly or whatever frequency works for your organization. Choose a means of communication that works best for the size and needs of your organization. This could be short meetings, e-mail updates, or a combination of both. Communicate this schedule to employees so they know what to expect.
Regardless of how you choose to provide employees with updates, make sure you keep these communications to the essentials. The goal is to ensure that everyone is given the same information, so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Check in with employees individually.
If your employees are working remotely, make sure that someone has set up regular individual touch points with each employee. During these stressful times, this individual connection is more important than ever. Just a quick check in to see how people are doing and if they’re experiencing any particular struggles is more than worth your time investment. Giving employees the chance to address anything that’s on their mind will help them be able to put their focus back on their priority tasks.
Similarly, if your organization is working towards a return to the workplace, these brief individual check ins can go a long way in responding to any concerns employees may have that they may not feel comfortable discussing in a group setting.
3. Get feedback from your team members.
As organizations continue to shift to new patterns, be sure to gather feedback from your employees as to what is and isn’t working. This will help you evolve your practices for the better, which ultimately saves time and money. This could be during team meetings or through a periodic survey. Whatever you choose, just be sure to openly reflect on the feedback received and try to adapt what you can.
In the end, if you’re able to put the above 3 recommendations into place, you’ll help your employees feel a bit more secure during these uncertain times. At the end of the day, the time you invest in developing a clear and consistent communication strategy will pay off tenfold through decreased conflict and increased focus in your employees.
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Lindsay Lapaquette works with performance-driven leaders who want to master the people skills needed to bring their teams to a whole new level. As a former Speech-Language Pathologist who was specialized in working with clients with social interaction difficulties, Lindsay’s unique professional background helps organizations get to the root of communication difficulties so they attain the great outcomes they’ve always desired.
To learn more about Lindsay’s speaking, coaching and consulting, visit lindsaylapaquette.com