Despite business leaders already navigating very challenging terrain during lockdown, arguably, the largest test is ahead. With 1st August just around the corner, many have been busy deciding whether they should allow their employees to continue working from home, or facilitate a safe return to the workplace. Though this decision will be unique to each business, with 56% of adults in the UK reporting a deterioration to their mental health during lockdown and no vaccine yet confirmed, it’s important that this is done with the utmost care.
Moreover, as experts predict a u-shaped recovery, which suggests a lingering over the coming months before trade returns to normal, it’s more important than ever before to prioritise staff engagement and motivation. Afterall, with fewer opportunities, individuals will need to ensure employees make the most of every customer interaction, be that on or offline. To help, we have pulled together some campaign ideas and considerations for employee communications post-Covid19.
Prioritise regular, transparent updates
Unfortunately the current situation does mean that for many, job security is a genuine worry. A recent study actually revealed that redundancy post-lockdown was already the top concern among adults in the UK. And this is likely to be even more poignant with the furlough scheme nearing its end. Businesses may not be in a position to make any promises, this is an unprecedented situation afterall. But transparent and regular updates could go a long way to easing employee anxiety. An SMS for instance, could be a great way to convey a short message to all employees almost immediately. A simple roundup of sales figures and a welldone to staff would likely be well-received, and as 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes, you can be sure your message is received almost immediately.
Make it personal
This can be as simple as changing the communication channel. For instance, it is a much more personal experience to receive a text than it is an email. What’s more, given that these communications should be centered around engaging with employees, it’s worthwhile considering whether messages via a person’s work email inbox are really the most appropriate way forward. With our TextCampaign service, you are able to personalise bulk SMS campaigns which may be ideal for businesses operating with a reduced or remote HR team.
Consider how to reboard furloughed employees
While many staff members will be keen to get back to work post-furlough, employers need to be sensitive to the fact that returning to work will involve an adjustment period. Individuals would’ve had to adjust to life on furlough, and depending on the length of time this was for, it’s likely there will also be an adjustment period when they return to work, particularly if this involves a return to the workplace. To ensure this process is as smooth as possible, it’s worthwhile spending time thinking about exactly what this process should look like and cover. Ultimately getting this right in the beginning, will save businesses time in the long run. As the success of this process will likely depend on the effectiveness of communications, we would advise a multi-channel, multi-personnel approach. Some individuals may feel more comfortable on certain channels over others, and with specific team members.
Ask and respond to feedback
We often see feedback overlooked in a company’s communication strategy, despite it being heralded as the ‘cash cow’ for businesses. But now more than ever it’s invaluable. Your business has likely had to make many changes to the way it operates, especially in situations where companies have returned to the workplace. Taking the time to ask employees if they’re comfortable with the changes, if they think anything has been overlooked or have any ideas for further effectiveness and efficiency improvements could prove invaluable. What’s more, with an SMS survey you can collate this feedback in a convenient and fast way, as SMS benefits from a conversion rate of 32% and the average user response time to a text message is just 90 seconds.
Promote team interactions
This uncertain time has impacted individuals in many different ways and for many, the coronacoaster has been exhausting. With in-person interactions reduced, it’s important to continue promoting team interaction and perhaps most importantly, making an effort to keep things light and fun. Even something as simple as a team ‘company quiz’ on Zoom to end the week, may do wonders for staff engagement and morale.
Ultimately, a happier workforce is a more productive workforce. So although a challenge, business leaders must rise to the occasion and navigate their teams through this uncertain time.
Finally, we understand that businesses may be very busy at the moment, so if you or your team need any assistance in the creation or management of internal campaigns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team at [email protected].