As businesses ease out of lockdown and employees start to return to their places of work, the role of internal communications has never been so important. Going into lockdown was relatively easy and at first, most of us were in good spirits. However, transitioning from lockdown back to a new kind of normal and working environment is going to be a great deal harder. Lockdown has affected us all in different ways and mentally it will have left its mark.
Making your employees feel like a team again, motivated and enthused for the future ahead needs planning but can bring with it a renewed sense of passion and loyalty to the business.
Here we give our advice on best practice for your internal communications at this time.
- As with any communications campaign, set goals so that you can measure if they’ve been achieved. As an example these might be that every staff member has acknowledged your new health and safety procedures or 90% of staff have participated in a new reopening training workshop.
- Before staff come back to work, let them know what you’ve put in place to help them readjust. Invite them to revert to you with any questions or concerns they might have and address promptly.
- Arrange individual meetings with you or their manager and remind them of their value to the business and why they were chosen in the first place for this role.
- Find out what excites and motivates them to return so you can make more of this
- Make the return period fun. Arrange some fun activities so they can enjoy being part of a team again.
- For those who have been furloughed, arrange some retraining sessions to bring them up to speed.
- For the larger company consider appointing a staff wellness manager or introduce a buddy system so that each staff member has an approachable and sympathetic person they can go to with their concerns.
- For many businesses, lockdown has enabled them to make new plans for the future. Share your plans with your staff.
- But also share the challenges ahead. Have an open and honest approach so they understand in some cases, difficult decisions may have to be made to safeguard the business.
- Keep listening and monitoring. The effects of lockdown and social distance working aren’t always immediate. What’s important is that you have a process in place to recognise and deal with them when they do.
If you are looking for help with your internal communications strategy please do get in touch via our contact page here