Best Practice

It’s time to get the rhythm of your organization right and to focus on how your people feel

How we communicate, engage, and treat our employees has been a focus throughout the entire COVID-19 crisis.

Now, as we look to the rhythm of the organization, it’s incredibly important to think about how we re-board employees that may have been furloughed and how we look at those that may have survived a big round of redundancies. What I mean by the rhythm of the organization is the meetings, the calls, the conversations, the operational processes – all of it. 

Organization rhythm is a topic that has been around throughout the crisis and what that rhythm looks like as we move forward, is something many communicators are starting to explore.

It’s time to think about whether the rhythm was actually right in the first place, because this is an opportunity for us all to explore how the organization’s drumbeat really should sound.

Employee wellbeing during COVID-19: What we can learn from Behavioral ScienceDownload for free

It’s also an opportunity to learn and adapt to grow our skills as communication professionals. The skills we need in this crisis are no different to the skills that we needed before, it’s purely the urgency of them that is incredibly real.

Since the pandemic, we have to consider new ways to use digital tools; the need to adapt to communicating in a purely virtual world, and the fact that the role of the communicator is now more in the spotlight than ever before.

One of the topics that has come up again and again during the crisis is messaging. People are stuck on what the messaging is at the moment and that is no surprise as things are so ambiguous.

Now, more than ever, it’s about listening and it’s about focusing on how we are making our people feel. Stop focussing on what to say, and focus on how you want people to feel after they have been listened to.

It will help you think differently and focus on the impact you are having.

Focussing on how people feel allows us to move away from a sense of panic and chaos. It allows us to put ourselves in the place of advising leadership. We are focussing their minds on the people and allowing empathy to lead.

Our skills in this area is where our focus needs to be. As a communicator, there are certain things we can do to make sure that we are responding in the best way.

We can spend time reading, learning and understanding more about human beings; how we respond to change from a neuroscience perspective, understanding how we are hardwired to focus on fear and understanding that we are social animals. 

All of this helps us adapt and advise to support leadership teams and our own teams in responding in a crisis.

If we’ve learned anything in the last few months, it’s that we can move more quickly than we thought. We don’t need to be perfectionists in our work, and our ability to solve business problems with technology and strategic advice is unparalleled as we come forward and we start to return to site. 

As we step forward, out of lockdown, wherever we might be, there is a need to look at what tools need to stay and what tools need to go. Talk about the things that are missing as we start to enter a hybrid world.

My view is that this is no different to the pre-COVID world where we will pass the conference call spider phone around the office to try and engage those that are at home. The technology in the workplace hasn’t supported those that might want more flexible working and this has to change now. 

It’s been a campaign for many years and as we look at the rhythm of organizations of the future. We need better technology to allow hybrid teams to engage and communicate. 

We need the ability to look at our leadership teams, their alignment and allow them the time to refocus on what needs our attention today, tomorrow, in six months, in one year and in 18 months. 

It’s time for data. It’s time for conversation and it’s time for some of those difficult conversations around budget; what’s right for the employees and what’s right for the purpose of the organization.

The rhythm has to support why you do what you do, reflect your values and beliefs and your behaviors must support what you stand for. The rhythm has to change.

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