How strong internal communications can build employee trust in testing times

27 March 2020 | 3 min read | News
Tommy Gibbs

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Honesty. Transparency. Openness. All buzzwords that have been on the lips of many a comms professional at some point over the last few weeks. And for very good reason.

Speaking regularly to your employees has never been more important than it is now. Not one person is unaffected by the pandemic, the world as we know it has changed, and everyone is under so much pressure. Employees need reassurance from their leaders, and the best way to do that is through regular, honest and open communication.

There’s no reason why you can’t maintain a frequent and effective communication programme with your employees during this time. Team meetings and social events can all be done remotely – the technology is there and it works.

At Clearly we’ve tried to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible. We’ve introduced daily virtual check ins with our team – dedicated time first thing in the morning to make sure everyone is ok and understands the current priorities in the midst of a reactive climate.

We have a weekly video ‘coffee’ morning where we can chat about anything – not work or Covid 19 related – giving us all a much-needed break, and we’re holding a lunch for new starters on Thursday this week. Yes, new starters! We’ve even onboarded two new members of the team – virtually – within the last fortnight, honouring a commitment that we made before the world temporarily shifted on its axis. It remains to be seen whether anyone will actually eat their lunch to camera, but you get the idea…

Having a plan in place will help to build engagement, and it will also help you to troubleshoot any potential issues with clients or the business. Being honest and open with your staff will build trust – something that will last well beyond the next few weeks.

One of our team remarked this morning that “How businesses act now could make or break them in three months’ time – actions during this period will be remembered.” If you take time to regularly communicate to your employees and provide reassurance and leadership now, you will reap the benefits from a dedicated and loyal work force when the time comes to truly rebuild and thrive once again.