Throughout the coronavirus pandemic internal communicators have been adding our experiences of what it is like to practice during a significant historical event to the vast digital record of our times on social media and the internet. What will this historical archive we are creating say about what we did and what our purpose was during these difficult days, who will feature in it, and will it be a past imperfect?
As a globalised civilisation we were seemingly completely unprepared for the occurrence of a pandemic. The failure of leadership which helped the coronavirus proliferate has caused a day of economic reckoning and restructuring which will fundamentally change the contexts in which we all live. What are the career consequences of this for internal communicators as the curtain falls on significant parts of the old world we once knew?
Internal communicators can no longer continue dealing with the workplace impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak with a reactive crisis communications approach and tactics. What we are now dealing with is the mother of all change situations. With no internal communication precedents for dealing with the longer-term workplace impacts and fallout of a pandemic on this scale, the future is an undiscovered country for all of us.
After being preoccupied for the last few weeks with coronavirus related crisis communications, social distancing and whole workforces suddenly home working, when is the right time for internal communicators to resume normal service by restarting business as usual communications, and what should they be considering when they do?
As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, social distancing has suddenly created a new army of remote and home-based workers. Internal communicators have responded by sharing tactics, content and technology solutions in an attempt to bridge the divide and build ‘engagement’ with employees, at a time when engagement is not the issue that needs to be addressed. The solutions to reconnecting remotely working colleagues are to be found in an understanding of human psychology and overcoming the negative behaviours this can catalyse in a divided workforce.
It’s been the week from hell for internal communicators. However, the impacts of the coronavirus crisis have a silver lining for our profession. We should act to seize the opportunity which has been presented by the outbreak and not let it slip through our (washed) hands
Emoji are now a part of our everyday lives but how and when they are used in communication, both in the workplace and elsewhere, requires care. Just like words themselves, some emoji have connotations and hidden or rapidly changing meanings which have nothing to do with their physical appearance. This makes using them in any type of communication perilous, with the potential to cause offence, misunderstandings or to even land you in court on the receiving end of a prosecution.
Internal communicators are often on the receiving end of a litany of unintentional disrespect which seems to know no bounds. It would be unthinkable to ask a colleague in accounting to ‘Just finance this up’ or a lawyer to ‘Just legal this up’ or a HR practitioner to ‘Just people this up’. So, why is it acceptable to ask an internal communications professional to ‘Just comms this up’?
As internal communicators what stops us shutting down channels which don’t work anymore? I think there are three main barriers which we must overcome to be more comfortable with switching off a dying channel’s life support and pulling the plug on it once and for all.
Volunteers are the real powerhouse of a professional body like CIPR, and are fundamental to changing the perceptions of IC amongst employers, recruiters and leaders. This is why I am a CIPR volunteer helping to take IC towards a better place.