Effective communication strategies to navigate changing attitudes to the workplace
While the days of working from our living room, kids hopping on our Zoom calls, spending time with our dogs and finding our way through ‘life-from-home’ may be nearing an end, the pandemic has forever transformed corporate culture as we know it. According to one study, 40% of people are thinking of leaving their current employer.
So why this exodus? Many seek a newly defined work-life balance as well as a more equitable and inclusive workplace. New habits, expectations, and a greater awareness around mental health are driving the discourse after the loss and impact of a different reality especially affecting employees of diverse backgrounds.
This reimagining of the workplace provides an opportunity for companies to revisit their company values and culture and to truly embrace diverse elements employees are looking for including gender, ethnicity, race, familial obligations, and mental health. While companies are now testing hybrid work models to tackle the talent attrition as a priority, one thing is clear: messaging and communication that is guided by purpose and clarity will determine how successful a company’s post pandemic transition will be.
Here are four communication strategies that companies can use to navigate this delicate balance between the needs of the organization and those of its employees.
1. Ignite internal brand advocacy with renewed messaging
It’s likely that your company work culture has changed. Revisiting mission statements or corporate messaging to align with employee expectations and needs is essential.
When General Motors conveyed its return to work strategy for employees with the approach of “Work appropriately”, the simple message empowered employees and genuinely made them feel valued and connected.
2. Revisit your internal communications strategy
Communications must capture the attention of employees, be easily accessible, and provide information in a straightforward manner.
- Use video messaging instead of written form to reach employees on a more human level
- Segment communications to deliver relevant, targeted information
- Create robust ‘digital hubs’ to host specific resources and publish timely updates (e.g., mental health resources and professional development opportunities)
- Open up channels for two-way communication with employees to maintain an environment of inclusivity and transparency
3. Create a sense of belonging
Working from home has taken a toll on the personal connections that forge teams. Offering up opportunities to remind employees of the team and culture they are part of will strengthen that weakened connection.
- Adopt communication platforms that work for your team
- Develop webinar training programs on new workplace practices for teams to join together
- Initiate informal channels for hanging out
- If possible, make coming to the office a special event, a party of sorts that you don’t want to miss
- Schedule physical meetings for brainstorming sessions
4. Invest in your people
Communication is not limited to information dissemination. Offering opportunities for growth can speak volumes to employees.In addition to professional growth classes that may seem aimed at benefiting the business, start embedding personal growth and wellness classes in your company-sponsored offerings. This will increase awareness of and help meet the diverse work/life needs of your employees, and send the unwritten message that they are supported and valued.
The enormity of workplace change and the need to communicate will undoubtedly be challenging.
Keeping dialogue open, with inclusive and empathetic communications to make employees feel valued and heard, is key. We must inform and take care of our own so that they can in turn take care of our customers, partners, and themselves better.
Interested in more effective communication strategies? Contact us to schedule a quick chat.