“The art of communication is the language of leadership”- James Humes
The last few months have been nothing close to “normal” for work professionals. The pandemic has forced workforces to start working from home. Some were happy about it while some weren’t. Now, with the lockdown easing up, the offices have slowly started opening up and companies are looking to make a comeback to the workplace.
In order to bring the workforce back in action, you need to carefully create a return to work plan which deeply emphasizes effective communication strategies. Every workplace differs from one another, hence, different work processes require different preparedness plans.
If you are a manager, you would agree to the fact that you had to take extra efforts to keep your team engaged and communicate with your employees working from home and following the remote culture of work during the lockdown. You will have to put similar or even more effort into communicating with your employees if you are planning to call them back to work.
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In order to get everything back on track, you will need various processes to ensure seamless communication and collaboration while maintaining the safety of your employees at the same time. Therefore, it’s high time we pay heed to our readiness to get back to the office and work on improving our communication skills to ensure maximum employee engagement.
So, are you ready to transition your employees to the workplace?
Addressed below are some of the most effective return to work communication strategies to ensure you a smooth return to work-
Table of Contents
Make a Communication Plan
The very first step you need to undertake before you return to work with all your workforce is to create a communication plan which focuses on the government guidelines and also the needs of your employees. Understand what sort of information you need to provide to your stakeholders and who needs to receive it at what point of time.
Be clear while communicating all the essential rules that need to be practiced at the workplace such as hand sanitizing, cleanliness, physical distancing, etc. to keep everyone safe. Look out for ideal ways to ensure team communication to deal with all the apprehensions.
You can do that by making some communication strategies and assigning a manager for the same. For that matter, you can also use various communication technologies to ease down the process. With such return to work communication strategies, you easily connect to each employee individually among various departments at one go.
Use Ideal Communication Tools and Techniques
As per a recent study by Nature Scientific Reports, it is mentioned that when people speak, the aerosols are emitted that may contain the virus. Thus, the louder or more you speak, the more aerosols are emitted. The report also mentioned that even after maintaining a distance of around six feet, there are risks of the infection if individuals indulge in an in-person conversation.
It is necessary for employers to ensure that there is less face to face interactions at the workplace. Managers need to look up for other sources of communication like online team communication tools to ensure physical distancing and safety in the office premises.
Team communication software like ProofHub enables team members to express themselves better which ultimately results in stronger team connection. It allows you to deliver the essential piece of information to the right people at a single time without having to deal with all the hassle of delivering information to different people using different sources.
Also, in various regions, as per the guidelines of the government, half of the workforce still needs to work from home. Using ideal online collaboration tools will help you eliminate the differences between your employees working from the office and the ones working remotely. It will help you bring everything together on a single page.
Switch To Regular Virtual Meetings
There is no denying the fact that COVID-19 has dominated and changed our working lifestyles drastically but it has also come up with one positive development, virtual team collaborations. Over the last few months, work professionals have been relying on virtual or online meetings and will continue with the same practice in the future.
In-person meetings can be dangerous as it may get tough for the managers to ensure physical distancing in such meet-ups. Virtual or online meetings help you carry out easy and real-time collaboration without having to come in human contact.
It is definitely the easiest way to get things done while following the remote work culture as well. There are countless tools and software available out there that you can choose to make your virtual meetings easy and hassle-free.
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Make Way For Verbal As Well As Written Communication
The business world has gotten more digital and tech-savvy after the onset of Covid-19. Most of the companies rely on online and virtual communication processes. If you are planning to return to work, focusing on both verbal as well as written communication should be one of your top communication strategies. Both these means of communication help you convey your intent and assure the accuracy of the communication process.
As we know, after a long duration of working from home, the work process and dealing with the changes can be quite confusing for the workforce. If you use both verbal and written communication methods, you can help your employees avoid misunderstanding and any sort of confusion without wasting much time.
The more use of technology to avoid human contact and still enhance human interaction is very crucial at the workplace to deal with the aftermath of return to work hassle.
Make Online One-on-One meetings a priority
The pandemic has filled everybody’s heart with anxiety and fear. People prefer working from home instead of returning back to work. It is the duty of the supervisor to make the employees understand how their safety is the organization’s topmost priority.
Conducting one-on-one meetings or training sessions is the best way to do so. It will allow you to build a better relationship with your team and also allow you to share ideas about how you can ensure a smooth return to work. One-on-one meeting sessions will help you understand the employee concerns and will you plan everything accordingly. This practice will also allow you and your employees to stay on the same page.
With the reopening of offices after Covid-19, it is sure that you will have to deal with various management issues and one-on-one meetings will let you reach the solutions as soon as possible. It is probably the best way to keep your employees motivated without having to worry about the virus.
The pandemic has been nothing but an unprecedented crisis unlike any other circumstance witnessed by us in the living memory to date. It has affected every single business negatively all around the earth. It is very important for businesses to prioritize internal communications during a tough time like this.
Managers must ensure that they use the right communication strategies and technologies to return to work or handle the work process remotely. Keep your employees engaged and well informed about every single bit of the work process, that way, you can give your company and employees a great edge to stay on the track and can also ensure workforce safety.
The aforementioned communication strategies can help you look out various ways to connect and collaborate with your in-house as well as remote workers if you are planning to return back to work with full force.
Stay connected with the team members and keep them safe!