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Managing Effective HR Communications in the New Normal
The best practices adopted during the new normal will persist, even after the need for work from home recedes. That’s why it’s increasingly important to make effective communication a company wide priority.
The acceleration of remote working, spurred by the pandemic, has forced HR leaders to rethink how they communicate with employees. With teams spread across locations, the need for a streamlined communication strategy has never been more. Focusing on enhancing team communication with the right framework can boost morale, facilitate productivity, and sustain a supportive work culture within this new paradigm.
Cutting through the noise
Making a shift from a hierarchical form of communication to an individualized, two-way conversation is crucial. HR leaders should define the roles, tasks, and processes with clear timelines, measurable results, advancement opportunities, and engagement prospects. Listening to employee issues and asking for their feedback can go a long way in boosting employee retention. Whether it is building formal and informal mechanisms to address employee concerns or outlining a clear communication flow across the candidate journey, it will be crucial in increasing awareness and reducing ‘information clutter.’
What should CHROs do?
The role of Chief Human Resources Officers(CHROs) has become increasingly significant as now they have to do more than just guiding their companies in making the transition to virtual workplaces. Going forward, the key to success lies in building a framework that necessitates effective integration of diverse factors that can create a sustainable environment for employees and break down communication barriers. So, how can HR leaders build this framework with a strong foundation? Simply put, they can foster a culture of trust by following the RAPTNESS approach:
- Reach – To support the workforce from different demographics and backgrounds. Whether it is young professionals, people from nuclear or joint families, diverse ethnic identities, organizations need to take specific and deliberate steps to evaluate their approaches.
- Avoid – Avoiding ambiguity and having an effective two-way conversation is key in the new reality characterized by physical distancing. Tackling queries promptly and clear communications makes credibility and trust an essential part of the organizational DNA.
- Participative – Being part of a larger workforce means feeling connected, engaged, and happier. Organizations that promote a flexible environment empower their employees to create better work-life balance, retaining a competitive talent pool in the virtual workplace.
- Truthful – HR leaders should take an open and honest approach while acknowledging the challenges faced in these unprecedented times. A healthy mix of top-down and bottom-up communication flow will ultimately drive an aligned and purpose-driven culture.
- Need – Navigating the new way of working demands overcoming challenges as a team. Organizations that pull together with the need to develop a unique, problem-solving perspective will stay ahead of the curve in the long run.
- Engage – Keeping employees well-informed, engaged, and positive but also resilient and ready for any future disruptions is the need of the hour. It is the secret to creating a sustainable environment in the new normal.
- Surge – Transparent communication between the leadership, managers, and employees will drive a positive cultural, behavioral, and organizational change. This leads to a surge in motivation and a renewed sense of connection with the organization.
- Seek – Employees seek value when it comes to being committed to work, and having a clear messaging that aligns it with the company mission is vital. Making them see the bigger picture and contributing to the long-term goal creates a sense of purpose, increasing employee retention.
Becoming a future-ready workforce
The best practices adopted during the new normal will persist, even after the need to work from home recedes. That’s why it’s increasingly important to make effective communication a company-wide priority to sustain a unified environment that will enable organizations to emerge from the crisis stronger, bolstering their mission and employee value proposition.
A culture of open communication fosters innovation, employee satisfaction, and holistic wellness. As we transition from a crisis response mode to looking at the road ahead, if communication is effective, increased productivity, employee engagement, and retention will be an obvious outcome.
The author, Milind Mutalik, is Head of Employee Experience at Accolite Digital.
The article has been originally published in ET HR World.
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