Communicating in the workplace
With many workplaces still not back to their pre-covid functioning how can you make sure that all your staff are well and happy? Especially when some are working from home, others are on reduced hours, whilst others remain furloughed and some team members may have been made redundant, therefore changing the dynamic of the workplace structure.
The most important tool for your business over the coming months is, and should always be, regular effective communication.
Before going into lockdown you may have had well-thought and consistent methods for communicating with your team – if you did then these can be adapted to keep everyone informed. If you didn’t then now is a great opportunity to introduce some.
WEEKLY TEAM MEETINGS
Getting everyone together regularly is vital to ensure that everyone is still pulling in the same direction and understands the needs of their co-workers. Where staff have returned these can obviously be held together – consider using outdoor spaces, maybe taking everyone to a park for a picnic? – and obviously for smaller businesses these can be held in the workplace.
Helping people to feel like they are pulling together and supporting or being supported by their colleagues is a positive step in these complicated times.
Don’t forget to include the staff who physically can’t be in the office – video meetings worked so well during lockdown and they shouldn’t be dismissed now.
By scheduling one to ones your staff will know that they have time dedicated to them to discuss any issues or problems they may have and phone calls and video chats are just as important for the furloughed or at home staff so that they don’t feel they’ve been forgotten.
A supportive workplace culture can make everyone feel that their feelings and opinions are valid but People may not always voice their problems or concerns for fear of being judged or penalised. Good communication is as much about listening to your staff and the things they aren’t saying – or maybe following up on the concerns of other team members to encourage someone to open up.
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDERS
Assigning senior staff members to the role of Mental Health First Aiders can help to drive a communications strategy forward with consistency and identifying someone as a key point of contact can also encourage staff to address issues without feeling persecuted or fearful.
“Companies that treat their workers better, do better… To reach the land of profit, follow the road of purpose” Professor Alex Ednams, London Business School