The biggest challenges facing communicators now
106 Communications held a series of webinar events at the height of lockdown this summer on topics including leadership in a crisis, company purpose and employee engagement in lockdown.
Hundreds of communications managers joined and we asked them to share the biggest challenges facing them right now. Here’s what we found.
“One of my biggest concerns right now is the mental whiplash of all of this rapid change (not just professionally, personally as well).”
“Helping each person feel connected.”
“Wellbeing, mental health and that employees matter.”
“Touching base with all employees daily (500+) , employee wellbeing, keeping up employee engagement and delivering remote experiences.”
“My biggest challenge is addressing the emerging inconsistency of line manager comms with staff.”
“This has led to focus on external rather than internal communications and therefore a lack of it.”
“How would you suggest overcoming the internal politics to ensure the internal comms is seen as a priority?”
“The challenge I’m facing at the moment is supporting people who can’t WFH, and are having to go into work.”
“The majority of our business is now furloughed so how can we keep the remaining 20% of our business engaged with communications when their colleagues are out of the office?”
“How to keep levels of engagement between calls?”
“We’re having some interesting discussions internally on what this means for flexible working moving forward and how this might change workforces attitudes longer term.”
We didn’t just leave it there but shared some great hints and tips on the calls on how to tackle these challenges.
- Set working hours and allow colleagues to manage their own time.
- Discuss the secret to managing your time successfully.
- Have regular one-to-one conversations with line managers, wellbeing champions, or other colleagues.
- Share stories of working from home and how you stay motivated and productive.
Make wellbeing a priority.
- Encourage managers and colleagues to regularly check in with each other.
- Draw examples from across the business on how others are supporting their colleagues.
- Avoid virtual presenteeism, where the person on every conference call is judged to be the best performer.
Remember the people in the office.
- Many frontline workers can’t work from home, so different groups need separate strategies and don’t simply focus on the WFH crew.
- People going into the office will have different concerns, challenges and need different information so segment your audiences accordingly.
Don’t forget those on furlough.
- Explain in simple terms the role of people on furlough to maintain their sense of purpose.
- Draw on your values to keep colleagues actively engaged in their roles .
- Encourage leaders to show empathy and compassion as well as direction.
Keep engaging with your people.
- Support line managers support with coordinating the most important messages to colleagues.
- Find senior advocates draw on their support to create a coordinated strategy.
- Look at your learning tools and find ways to tweak for a home-learning experience.
- Orrganisations need to be more agile and innovative than ever before. So run ideation sessions to get the best ideas from your workforce.
Many thanks to all participants for sharing their expertise.
106 Communications is an award-winning communications consultancy on a mission to making work better. We create communications to engage and inspire through our three expert-led practises in Internal Communications, Change Communications and Branding & Marketing. To join one of our industry events contact Henry on Henry@106comms.com.