One of the biggest business challenges this year is keeping people on board because the pandemic has left so much collateral damage in its wake.
We now know that the world of work has changed completely. HR and internal comms managers are now facing growing issues around staff morale, absence, and loyalty.
People are insisting on hybrid working and much more flexibility. They want more from their employer and they are questioning their whole career path.
Even the most loyal employees are now asking: ‘Do I really want to do this for the rest of my working life?’
High staff turnover has and will continue to impact every sector, every job type, and every business, everywhere.
But there is a way to use these challenges as a catalyst for change. The ‘build back better’ mantra that organisations including the government are adopting, for example.
This is an opportunity for you to put internal communication at the top of your business agenda and to get buy-in from your senior team.
It’s the right time to show that your organisation has a shared sense of purpose and to bang the drum about your ethics.
‘We love working here and we know why,’ should be your rallying cry.
This is your chance to show your people that they are listened to and valued and to make sure that information flows freely within your business.
You can start by asking your senior team a couple of key questions.
So, let’s look at each question and then drill down into the issues and potential solutions.
Question 1: Are you communicating your messages clearly?
Successful organisations attract people who connect emotionally with their brand. This means you should use creative ways to reinforce your key messages, especially when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff.
But clearly, this approach hasn’t become best, or even, standard practice, if you look at the statistics from earlier this year.
A recent VRAMP survey shows that 48% of organisations are sending out employee communications without measuring if they are effective.
If you want to make sure your organisation communicates effectively, here’s our advice:
Before you communicate, you need to know these things:
- Who are you talking to?
- How do they access information?
- What’s the right channel for them?
- Are you telling, involving, or listening to them?
- What is this communication about? What, where, when why?
- What do you want people to know, feel and do?
And then you need to ask if the communication was successful. Did people understand your message? Can they recall what you said, are they responding positively, and do they feel well informed?
Question 2: Are your people informed and engaged?
Open, interactive communication drives every thriving workplace. But remember, people who say they are satisfied at work are not necessarily engaged.
According to Gallup only 15% of employees are engaged in their work.
This is a difficult fact to deal with but there are things you can do right now to start turning these figures around.
For instance, you can set up social networks to share information and knowledge. Virtual notice boards are also increasingly becoming a key part of the internal comms toolbox.
You can ask for feedback regularly and show that your leaders are really listening to your people. This in turn will build trust which is paramount in the workplace. It always has been and always will be.
And you can invest in employee wellbeing. One thing that the pandemic has taught us all is just how important it is to feel cared for in the workplace.
If people are working more remotely or they’re returning to your offices, now is a good time to carry out a ‘keep in touch’ or ‘welcome back’ audit.
This is your chance to find out how your staff are feeling and to pick up on any common issues. Again, it underlines the trust element and shows you are listening.
Here are a couple of links we found useful when we were doing our research for this blog. Take a look if you have the time.
If you want to know more about how to inform, engage and motive your teams, we can help.
Or, if you want to develop your internal communication skills, we offer a range of bespoke training and mentoring services.
It starts with a chat, and we can take it from there.