7 Ways to Improve Internal Communications: Coping in a Pandemic Society

Good communication is part of what makes an organization successful. Here's how you can improve internal communication in 7 key ways.

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Just like in a relationship, good communication is part of what makes an organization successful. And fostering internal communications is how you build connections and strengthen relations within the workplace.

Employee interactions happen every day pre-pandemic whether it is a simple greeting before heading into work or those monthly routine meetings. But since the pandemic, remote work has significantly increased, which also means human interactions have decreased. So, how do you cope?

Internal Communications in the “New Normal”

If there is anything this pandemic has taught us, it is not to underestimate the power of technology. No one really thought work could be done remotely and just as productively if you were at the office. Given the numerous options available, interacting with employees could be a cinch.

However, miscommunication is pretty common and is also one of the common causes of misunderstandings. Now, how do you improve internal communications especially if some employees are working remotely, in the office, or even abroad? Below are some tips on how to improve internal communications.

1. Utilize Communication Channels

Identify the types of communication channels and utilize them, particularly ones that are always used by employees such as email, messaging apps like Chatwork or Slack, and stick to it. This would also be helpful for employees working remotely as they are the most vulnerable to being kept out of the loop in terms of workplace announcements, deadlines, and whatnot.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. In spite of the numerous advantages of technology, it also has its pitfalls. That said, it would be wise to improve cybersecurity by implementing a data loss protection (DLP) solution on messaging apps. This would ensure your employees know how to exercise due diligence before sharing possible sensitive data as well as prevent data breaches.

2. Keep an Open Door

This means actually engaging with employees. Communication should not be a one-way street where employees are just told what to do without room for any questions and feedback. Do not just announce something and be done with it. It is important that employees feel seen and heard as they are more likely to feel that the organization listens to them and values their opinion. By being more receptive of their ideas/concerns both in person or virtually, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.

3. Encourage Coffee Break Conversations to Foster Relationships

Ask any employee what they miss about working pre-pandemic, and chances are they will mention some form of social interaction - whether it be chatting up with friends over break or a post-work hang. Coffee break conversations are normal and they help break up the day’s monotony.

Additionally, these conversations also lead to sharing of ideas. You might even be surprised to learn that some of the best content/ideas are forged during informal conversations. Moreover, this allows management to form closer personal relationships with their employees. It’s not unprofessional but it is a way of establishing and strengthening relationships with them. And you still can do that remotely. For instance, why not exchange recipes or have a trivia game? It will surely boost camaraderie and keep things more interesting instead of being serious all the time.

4. Have a Weekly Standup Meeting

Even if it is just a couple of minutes at the start or end of the week, stand-up office meetings allow everyone to re-evaluate and assess their progress. It is also a great opportunity to receive feedback from employees particularly if they are facing any challenges or setbacks.

Instead of thinking of it as a chore, think of it as group mentoring, wherein you are all working towards improving everyone’s performances for the betterment of the organization and themselves. And with the numerous channels for communication, even remote workers wouldn’t have to feel left out.

5. Recognize Employees

As the saying goes, “give credit where credit is due”. Employees are more likely to feel energized if they know their hard work isn’t being overlooked. If an employee did something noteworthy, say so. It also helps if they receive a bit of coaching to further hone their potential.

Work achievements shouldn’t be the only thing to make a lot of noise for but that includes personal milestones as well like birthdays or anniversaries. A simple shout-out during a Zoom meeting or even text blast will do. It’s the little things like these that make one feel valued and cared for as a person.

6. Consistency Is Key

When it comes to communication, consistency is key. This includes giving constant updates on progress reports or even something as simple as missing work. It enables everyone in the team to be aware of any delays or hurdles faced so everyone can adjust accordingly. And while it is virtually impossible for a team member not to make mistakes, ultimately, it’s how it was handled is what matters. Keeping the team constantly in the loop allows them to figure out what step to take. It doesn’t work well if someone makes a mistake only to have it covered up.

7. Keep Things Simple

This is an often forgotten line in an attempt to sound professional or serious. But sometimes, simplicity is the best. Given the rapid pace of today’s world, it is easy for people to get bored, that is why it is best to avoid giving employees information overload.

Keeping things - like announcements or meetings simple but precise, allows you to hold your employees' attention and keep them engaged long enough for the message to actually register. Brief and to-the-point messages work and also reduce further confusion and misunderstandings down the line later on.

This article was guest written by Regi Publico. Regi Publico is a full-time writer based in Manila who is also an artist for fun. She takes pride in her towering collection of books and loves reading about anything under the sun. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge through every article that she writes.
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