June 4, 2020
In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, it’s up to many municipalities to develop their own plans consistent with country, federal, state and local laws, OSHA requirements, and guidance from CDC and WHO specific to their area’s situation. For businesses, keeping employees and customers safe will require an abundance of resources and time just to stay current. With so many shifting and localized guidelines, it’s likely that mistakes will happen and some details might fall through the cracks.
But communication glitches now comes with a higher price: mistakes will adversely impact employee trust, commitment and loyalty. How well a company’s employees perform in their roles will influence how customers evaluate that company’s level of safety measures and concern for their well-being. And those impressions will influence their decisions as to if or how soon they return to do business with that company.
Employees need to see consistency in a company’s direction and expectations so they can confidently follow the directives and perform their tasks. With this in mind, it’s imperative that companies, perhaps more than ever before, ensure messages are aligned from all departments.
Human resources (HR) and internal communications (IC) are two overarching people-centric groups in every company, and can be the calm in the eye of the storm as we return to business. Andrew Harvey, Director of Internal Communications at the VMA Group, points out how internal communications and human resources are not distinctly separate entities today; both functions engage with similar audience groups so it makes sense that the two work together in the process. Enlist these two departments together to gain efficiencies and a crucial consistency of voice for your organization.
With distinctly different skillsets and perspectives, these two teams can help mitigate the risks of duplicating efforts and information, or worse, sending conflicting messages. Instead, winning companies can capitalize on these differences and engage them as strengths. Leverage your HR professionals’ understanding of audience needs, their proficiency in gathering and outlining regulations specific to where your company operates, and of course, their links to expert resources. Utilize the internal communications team’s command of messaging channels, logistics specific to each vehicle, and expertise in effective cadence. An added benefit? Internal comms brings a unique and holistic viewpoint gained by also occupying various seats at tables throughout the organization. With a lens created by these unique business insights, they’re able to identify and balance business priorities – an invaluable tool to use in equipping your people with critical information at the correct time.
Other possible benefits of this teamwork:
Divide and conquer the heavy load of collecting and disseminating these ever changing guidelines and new processes as we re-open our businesses; create strong habits by building on the lessons learned during these most extraordinary times. Develop and build on these collaborative strategies to gain streamlined efficiencies and confidence now. Create the necessary foundation of stability and aligned purpose which will serve your company well beyond the shutdown.
Creating messages that resonate is one thing. Getting them to the field is another thing entirely. If you’re looking for a software solution that will help you streamline your communication to ensure that your employees get the right information, tailored to their role and location, reach out. We would love to help.
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