Over the last year, the world has gone through unprecedented changes and made all of us adapt to the new normal. Our approach, style, skillsets, and attitude all have gone through sea-change, and our ideas, beliefs, and experiences of the normal times have been reshaped to fit into the new normal. Our requirements of communications and its delivery have also adjusted to the new normal, which is now dictating and re-determining the future course for all of us.
People are the key to any organisation’s successful running and an excellent communication internally and externally becomes the most important requirement in the times of physical distancing. Most of us prefer to often walk across the table and seek or deliver some information in an office environment. Knocking the doors of boss’s cabin or just attending a group brainstorming meeting to discuss, share, exchange, and explore ideas in a physical setting was an ultimate comfort.
Now, with our work lives have been put on a digital highway, we need to best utilise the online environment for creating internal communications, aligning them with operational processes, increasing collaboration, bettering efficiencies, and raising productivity.
Altering the processes and developing the systems to streamline and catch up with the online environment also has its benefits for the companies. Technology now will allow much faster, real-time, and constant exchange of information between the employees. It will also enhance the role of internal communications for a smoother flow of information, sharing documents internally, exchanging notes, automating communication & information flows, and employee engagement etc. Of there are challenges too co-exist, which need to be addressed by corporate communications professionals.
Building a sense of trust, loyalty and attachment towards the company will however be challenging task for internal communications. Bonding and attachment are much easy to happen in any physical setting where people mix up and are face to face. Interpersonal skills and relationship building become much easier in traditional physical settings when you interact with each other.
While internal communications attempt to bind people from different psychological background, diverse skill sets, and having grown up in varied learning environment, their biggest challenge would be to keep the work culture intact and carry it along into the new normal of online and remote working environment.
Almost all companies have a well-established culture including their work policies, beliefs, values, and other aspects of day to day interactions, which are deeply imbibed into their culture. This would have developed over the years of constant interactions within the organisation and outside, including employees, trade, business partners, customers, and others over many years. Ensuring that the same culture is taken ahead in the new normal of virtual environment as against the erstwhile situation poses a lot of challenge to the internal communications of any company.
Companies may need to focus on creating new avenues for reaching out to individual and have some personal & direct communications on a regular and sustained basis that keeps them aligned to the group objectives. Innovative ways of engagement of employees could simply be the need of the hour. And moving beyond engagement internal communications may have to address other issues like employee well-being and issues of mental-health preventing a burn out kind of situations.
Communication from your top leadership in a sustained manner in a remote work environment will take up significant importance. Such a communication should be able help leaders to hold the flock together, work towards enhancing productivity and generate continuous value for the organisation.
An enhanced feedback channel through surveys, polls etc., in the new normal will also be crucial link for the top management to work out the best strategies for organisation’s growth. All in all, a lot for the internal communicators to look into while we transit through the new normal.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.
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