As we continue the unlocking of society in the UK, some are claiming that we stand on the threshold of a revolution in the world of work - hybrid working. Is this really anything new, and if it is, are the right things being put in place in organisations to make the change stick?
Building the business case with leaders and managers for investing in regular and meaningful employee listening, which goes beyond the annual employee survey, has always been challenging for internal communicators. Any research findings which can add to the body of evidence to support this is welcome.
There are many ‘single points of failure’ in internal communication practice, which have the potential to stop us in our tracks and render what we do ineffective. Leaders can be one of them, but properly defining and understanding a SPOF in internal communication is the key to overcoming it.
The debate about the use of coronavirus vaccination passports has begun and some employers will inevitably introduce conditional immunity policies to reduce the risk of infection in the workplace. Internal communicators will need to communicate this to employees in the right way.
Some internal communicators would claim that the rapid adoption of new digital channels and platforms during the pandemic has enabled them to usher in a new transparency and authenticity in how leaders communicate with employees. But has it, really? The rise of the anonymous question in these online encounters has implications for ethical internal communications practice and consequences for organisational cultures everywhere.
As the new year begins the pandemic is far from over and there is a naive and misplaced optimism that there will be some rapid improvement and a return to normality. The cruel reality is that the first nine months of 2021 are likely to be every bit as challenging as the last nine months of 2020. What should internal communicators be planning for and should asking ‘why’ more often be our new year’s resolution?
If the authentic personalities of leaders are a complete turn off for employees, should internal communicators help them to curate a more acceptable online or virtual persona, which may be inauthentic or downright fake? A plastic personality.
When did it suddenly become compulsory for remote workers to be ‘on camera’? Constantly being visible on camera is proven to be stressful and unproductive. We need to establish and communicate clear rules about how employees should interact in remote working organisations, to create healthy workplace cultures that are fit for a post pandemic world.
Why can’t some leaders just say thank you, without any strings attached? As internal communicators draft their organisation’s end of year message from the leadership team, our guiding principle should be unconditional kindness. After the year we have all endured, workforces need to heal, and this time there is no place for a thank you with strings attached.
We aren’t working at home, we are living at work. Virtual presenteeism amongst remote working employees is on the rise driven by a paranoia to be seen to be always ‘at work’ and fuelled by the rise of employee surveillance technology. It’s stressful, and internal communicators have responded with a barrage of mental health and wellbeing communication, but should we have been focusing on creating remote-first organisational cultures instead?