In light of recent events, your team is probably actively thinking about communication. Are you communicating enough? Are you communicating effectively? These are questions that we’re asking ourselves daily as we live through history in the making. To answer these questions for ourselves, and hopefully, for you, we compiled some best practices for communicating with teams, regardless of the occasion.
Employees want data. Employees want facts. Ultimately, employees want the truth. Being transparent with your team is crucial, especially in uncertain times. Giving them the information that they are seeking will keep them productive and reduce panic and speculation. If you’ve made a decision, such as we have during the COVID-19 pandemic, to have your teams work remotely, allow your team to share in that decision. Inform them not only of the new policy but also the reasoning behind it. This openness helps employees feel included and valued, which builds trust and promotes peace of mind.
Leadership doesn’t have time to speak to employees all day every day — you’ve got a business to run. But that doesn’t mean that your team should hear from you once and then never again either. Establish regular communications that work for your employees as well as your company. Weekly, monthly, quarterly — whatever it is, find a time to communicate with them about relevant topics such as company financial health, growth, hiring, and sales metrics. When the unexpected happens, create a communication plan that spells out an updated cadence tailored to the event, communication roles, and communication channels. We created a guide on best practices for this. Check it out here.
Few things will make you and your leadership team a joke to your staff faster than communicating information that they already know. No matter how great a company culture is, people talk, and news travels fast. Don’t let your team hear the latest policy updates from Karen in accounting. Once decisions are final or updates are ready to communicate, share them. Especially in fast-moving times, these announcements, no matter how you choose to deliver them, keep everyone at ease. It’s ok if you don’t have all the answers right away. Share what you know and share often. The unknowns will work themselves out, and you will have an engaged, trusting employee base.
Communications from your leadership team do not always have to follow traditional methods like conference calls or town halls. While these are useful and effective, if they’re overused, they can lose their effectiveness. Instead, consider investing in communication tools that will allow you to post or send messages in real-time in highly visible areas. Including digital signage throughout your office or in common areas is a great way to ensure that your in-office teams are informed. Tools such as Cisco’s Webex Teams, Slack, Workplace by Facebook, and others are great for sending out quick messages on the fly that also reach mobile devices for those not at their desks. When integrated with a service like Appspace, these tools become even more powerful, allowing you to share the same communication both in-office and on individual devices. And in times like these, this is more useful than ever. Check out the latest playlists and content we’ve created related to the COVID-19 pandemic that you can deploy on your Appspace-powered devices here. We’re updating this content regularly as the situation continues to unfold.
Times of crisis remind us that effective communication is more important than ever. Hopefully, these best practices will assist your organization in creating a smarter communication structure to be used now and in the future. For more questions on how to effectively communicate with your teams and how to incorporate tools such as Appspace in your current workplace strategy, feel free to contact us.