As the pandemic spread around the world, organizations faced an unprecedented situation, and the need to communicate just-in-time information to their team became critical.
Organizations suddenly saw internal communications, an area that was previously under invested in by many, as an important new capacity.
There were also important changes in workplace culture.
“We saw the elevation of essential service workers into heroes,” Priya Bates, internal communication expert. “There was a lot of communication in terms of keeping those essential workers safe, keeping them connected and trying to create the pride.”
What are the 3 Ps for internal communications?
Employers should be asking themselves 3 key things in the New Normal:
- People: do you have the right people?
- Processes: do you have the capacity?
- Platforms: do you have the best platforms?
For many workers today, home is now the workplace, and as a result, a person’s home life and their work life are not as separate as they once were before the pandemic. Organizations with many remote employees need to rethink their approach to internal communications. To help with this, Priya has come up with “Three Cs” employers can follow for their internal communications during COVID-19.
Collaboration: How can organizations create opportunities for workers to effectively collaborate with each other when everyone is in a different location? Organizations are now turning to platforms like Microsoft Teams and are using them more effectively than before the pandemic. These platforms are a great way to facilitate employee collaboration in a work-from-home environment.
Community: Just because workers are not in the same location, doesn’t mean that they aren’t a part of a community. During this uncertain and anxious time, community is more important than ever. So how do organizations get people connecting with each other? Video conferencing platforms like Zoom are a great way. These platforms don’t only have to be used for meetings – they can also be used for people to come together for recreational work functions, such as coffee breaks or a Friday Night drinks night.
Connection: Trying to establish workplace connections on a regular basis is very important, especially for the manager/employee relationship. Managers should be spending time with their teams and connecting with them. That means not just asking employees about what’s happening in the workplace, but also asking them about what’s happening at home. Home is now the workplace, and a level of authenticity and vulnerability between a manager and their team is crucial. These are stressful times and it is important to show compassion and understanding towards your co-workers and team.
Priya Bates serves on the School’s Public Relations Advisory Council. As President and owner of Inner Strength Communication, Priya builds strategic internal communication, engagement, branding and transformational change plans that help connect the dots between business strategy and employee delivery. In her 20+ year career, Priya has led communication for organizations including Loblaw Companies Limited, HP Canada and Compaq Canada.
Priya recently became one of the first Certified Communication Management Professionals (CMP) in the world, has received the Master Communicator (MC) designation from IABC Canada and is an IABC Fellow, a lifetime achievement and the highest global honour bestowed from the International Association of Business Communicators.
Are you looking to expand your internal communications skill set in the new normal? The School of Continuing Studies’ Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations can help. Learn more about internal and external communications and how to manage your brand in the new normal.