Communication can’t fix every problem. Internal communicators need to be realistic about what we can achieve, and if communication isn’t a remedy for a problem or issue then we should back off.
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.
In a week of significant coronavirus related UK government announcements, it feels like we are in this for the long haul now and there is a creeping permanence in our current remote working circumstances. Internal communicators should be heeding the ministerial mantra of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ to move away from the crisis and change communications approach of recent months towards one of continuous improvement.
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 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.
Are your internal communications more like the howl of a cat’s choir than the harmonies of a symphony? Are employees saying they are overloaded with irrelevant information and your data telling you that hardly anyone is receiving or acting on the important messages? If so, it’s time to ‘Be more Beethoven’ and implement a channel strategy to create an internal communications symphony.
Which generation are you from.....Boomers, X, Y or Z? Does the generation you were born into shape your preferences for how you like to receive and consume information, how you perceive leaders and how loyal you are to your employer?