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With the majority of the population working from home and socially distancing to stop the spread of Covid-19, boardroom meetings have turned into Zoom calls, office friendships have moved over to Slack and WhatsApp, and there is an enormous physical separation between colleagues. This past year has upended the corporate office structure as we know it and has brought on many unique challenges that, if not overcome, can negatively contribute to the long-term success of a company.
Entrepreneurs leading fast-growing companies with expanding workforces need to ensure that they adjust to this new reality and implement new strategies to deal with the communication challenges posed by a virtual workforce.
Internal communication in a socially distanced world
Internal communication is the heartbeat of a company and is vitally important if an organization is to function effectively. In our new socially-distanced world, employees should feel that they can easily communicate with their team members and leadership. Unfortunately, the current work environment can lead to situations where:
The only official communication many employees have with colleagues and leadership is an all-hands update call that happens once a week or sometimes even once per month or quarter.
Issues and strategies are not being communicated thoroughly, but worked on in siloes.
Teams and individuals are making decisions without considering the input of all relevant parties.
Employees feeling underappreciated or that their voices are not being heard.
Entrepreneurs play a critical role in keeping their employees informed, motivated, and hopeful. This can be done by leading the way with clear and effective communication that brings confidence and unifies the company to not only fight to exist, but to truly thrive despite challenging circumstances. Well-thought-out strategies to improve internal communication can have a direct impact on success in 2021 and beyond.
Implementing a company newsletter to keep everyone updated on progress and to recognize the achievements of team members.
Holding a corporate all-hands meeting going over the strategy for each quarter, making people excited and proud to be working for the company.
Working on unifying employees in understanding broader corporate goals and how each one of them directly contributes to them.
Empowering employees to engage more by leading by example.
Working towards fostering cross-department collaboration through companywide and cross-department projects.
Many of us are still uncertain about what a post-Covid normal looks like, but we do know that remote work will continue for the foreseeable future. Adding new systems and communication tactics are a great way to improve engagement and boost performance.
One major thing that the past year has taught us is that virtual communication has its drawbacks and that mediocre internal communication can ultimately stifle performance if left ignored.