Recent public opinion polls confirm what many of us have been observing – trust in our institutions continues to decline. The exception? Businesses. Employees trust CEOs and their own companies as an information source over governments and the media. That’s a heavy responsibility but if you lead with compassion, communicate meaningful content and keep your community in mind, you will not only maintain that trust but strengthen your own organization’s culture. Here are three keys to effective internal communications:
- During a crisis, especially a prolonged crisis like this pandemic, communicating with compassion is crucial. Everyone is working through challenges whether dealing with isolation, home schooling children, managing financial pressures or worrying about their health; the pandemic has underscored the impossibility of cleanly separating our work lives from our personal lives. Employees will appreciate knowing that you understand that. Acknowledge their challenges, provide support in addressing them when you can and ensure your management team conveys the same message.
- Content is king — employees want details about what your company is doing to keep them, and your clients, safe but they are also turning to their employers for help in understanding the evolving public health rules, what’s happening with schools and how to manage stress. While most of that is likely beyond your company’s expertise, it’s not unreasonable to provide links to experts, access to guest speakers and opportunities to ask questions.
- Every company is part of a community and employees trust that their organizations will be contributing members. The pandemic has prompted discussions about the disproportionate impact on low-income workers and people of colour, the ‘she-cession’, and food security. Trusted companies are those that communicate clearly and honestly with their employees, investors and customers about their role and responsibility to their communities. The pandemic offers ample opportunity.
Employees are looking to you for information on what’s happening and what’s next. Effective internal communication based on compassion, great content and community response will secure their trust and set your company up for success through this second wave.
For help navigating change and developing employee engagement strategies, please contact Managing Director Robyn Osgood at firstname.lastname@example.org.