EY Future Consumer Index, shares that five new segments may emerge as consumers move beyond the pandemic. They are – back with a bang (constituting 38 per cent of respondents), stay frugal (29 per cent), keep cutting (19 per cent), cautiously extravagant (11 per cent) and get to normal (2 per cent). Given the anticipated changes in consumer behaviour and category dynamics, the report highlights that consumer product companies would need to take quick actions to respond to the ‘now’ phase, alter operating model to address the ‘next’ phase and then consider strategic transformations to build a resilient organisation for the ‘beyond’ phase. (Source – etretail.com)
If we understand and anticipate that the new market will have to be communicated to differently for the new customer segmentation, then the same is applicable to how leaders will have to be communicating with their employees.
The combination of lock-down and unlock procedures (under Covid), has completely changed the reality of how and where the employees are now working from. With only digital face-to-face meetings and no personal interface, the need for regular two-way communication has become crucial, more than ever.
Leaders today will have to use various internal communication tools to effectively engage with employees. Keeping in mind the similar pattern of how marketers will now reach out to customers, maximising benefits out of cost-effective tools.
One such solution could be using social tools internally for employees, and also externally, with partners, in order to reduce communication costs. Studies often share how employees engage better when allowed to use social media tools, in turn making them the desirable brand ambassadors for the company.
Sharing an excerpt from an interview by Deepali Nandwani (for mediascope), where Neeraj Govil, senior VP, South Asia, Marriot international, brilliantly shares the need for staying engaged with employees as a basic necessity today. “On the professional front, the learnings have been several: How can we increasingly deploy technology for guest experience; how can we adapt and change formats; how do we keep our teams motivated, especially when we are not with them all the time; how do we stay connected and motivate them through digital platforms”.
Internal Communications has always equipped leaders with innovative and effective communication tools, but these have been used as support system along with regular one-on-one interactions. Since, these personal meetings are no longer a possibility, leaders need to ensure that engagement with employees continues to stay a key priority.
Marie Rosecrans, VP, sales force, shared interesting perspectives of how engaged employees yield better performance. She elaborated – Employees who trust their bosses have more energy, less stress, and fewer sick days. Additional research shows that employees who get communication from their companies are more likely to work for their companies.
Today, leaders need to drive the organisation towards building a culture of care-taking. Engage and inspire employees to understand what are the company’s goals, explaining how they fit into that puzzle piece. This clarity could help them contribute much more that they would have done otherwise.
The current crisis has definitely bought along a lot of lessons for one and all. For anyone leading teams today, the simple truth needs to be – engage with your internal stakeholders better, who will be managing and winning over the external stakeholders.
Dan Schulman of PayPal, during his TedX talk, emphasised the need to invest in employees, because that will take care of customers and shareholders. He couldn’t have said it better – put your employees first.
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