Security Issues

Return to workplace communication strategies

The world has started opening up post-COVID-19 pandemic. Although daily reported cases are on the rise, it is restricted to a few large countries only; most other countries have succeeded in containing the virus significantly. Organizations are planning on a return to workplace strategies. As the virus is still active and no vaccine in sight, it is necessary to follow certain precautionary measures to make the workplace safe and secure. Internal communications play a significant role in keeping the office and digital assets safe for employees and deliver business goals.

Communication leaders should take initiatives to redesign the internal communication model with consultation of HR departments. Unless adequate precautionary and safety measures are followed, return-to-workplace routine may have a negative impact on the morale of employees and other stakeholders.

We recommend below mentioned communication strategies before restoring the normalcy at the workplace.

1. Respect Employees’ Opinion

Before summoning the employees to attend the office en masse, internal communication managers should reach out to employees and listen to their apprehensions and misgivings. Strategizing who should attend when depending on the critical nature of the employee role and conveying the same to the concerned person helps to build trust. Also, updating the employees with the new measures and support systems in place to deal with health-related issues, particularly mental health-related, builds employee confidence. Instead of deciding the opening arbitrarily, taking the employees’ feedback, and addressing their concerns should be the priority. Listening to employees’ insights about work in a distressing time like now and accommodating genuine concerns in terms of safety is a must.

2. Select Best Communication Models

It is important to make sure that the return-to-workplace guidelines are reached the employees on time. As everyone needs to be on the same intranet, to access company resources, it is important to make sure return-to-workplace guidelines reach employees on time. Also, employees handling critical portfolios returning to the office makes it complex to communicate as a few would be at the workplace and a few others at different remote locations. Bringing them onto a single network of communication and ensuring seamless connectivity would pave the way for better coordination and help to achieve desired goals.

3. Support Local Leaders

In an organization, leaders of different teams are more influential on the immediate subordinates; they are best suited to spread the new guidelines or practices. These leaders are immediate authority to take up matters for the employees. These leaders are the immediate authority to take up matters for the employees. Unlike CEOs and top management leaders, the local leaders have better comradery to listen or to make the employees adopt the new practices as needed. Communication leaders should prioritize the role of local leaders and give due importance to them in formulating the policies as well as implementing them.

4. Plan for Long-term Collaboration

The COVID-19 seem to be here for long, and not all businesses can stay remote till the pandemic completely goes away. This is where HR teams must define communications in the ‘return-to-workplace times’. Internal communication teams partnering with HR makes it easy to build a cohesive messaging across the departments. In order to make certain non -essential service roles permanently remote, HR would again play a critical role in allocation and monitoring of work hours. Also, for future recruitments, this collaboration helps HR team outline the duties and work models.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

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