Communicating internally with employees and externally with customers and vendors has always been important, but it rose to a new level of significance during the pandemic with most face-to-face interactions off the table. So what lessons have we learned from this time that we should consider carrying forward with us in our businesses?
Put employees first.
There was a significant shift toward employee communications during the pandemic. In fact, surveys show some businesses allocated as much as 70% of their communications resources toward employees, since teams that previously shared office space were now working on their own. Communicating with your team—even if it’s small—sends the message that you care about their wellbeing. Making their health, both physical and mental, a priority is a great best practice that will pay off.
Top-down communication certainly gets the word out, but a horizontal approach, where all levels of your organization are communicating with one another and with customers and vendors, is more effective. The bottom line: Everything doesn’t have to come from you. Empower your employees to communicate. Give them training and tools to help. Many organizations gave their employees talking points to use during the pandemic. This best practice can help in other situations, whether it’s a new website launch or costing increase.
Another lesson learned is that it’s always better to air on the side of over-communicating. Your employees, customers and even prospects will appreciate being in the know. It will make them feel confident in your leadership and the strength of your business. For this reason, there may be times when you want to ramp up communications with various audiences. When you do, be sure to use all the tools and platforms available that make sense for you right now—from eblasts and newsletters to social media and media relations.
Treat it with thought, care and empathy.
During the pandemic, business owners looked at their communications in a fresh way. They weren’t just communicating to get new followers or build brand recognition. They were doing it to keep people informed and alleviate stress. They communicated with thought, care and empathy and built stronger relationships as a result. Consider how you might marry these approaches in the future.
Step back and re-evaluate.
Your communications don’t have to look the same post-pandemic. It’s a good time to step back and re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t right now. Did you discover something that worked well like quick Zoom check-ins with customers or team members? There’s no reason to stop those. Did you communicate more consistently on social media? Keep it going as your audiences have come to count on you.
At NAWBO, communication helps us to further our mission of propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. It’s how we keep you connected and share education opportunities, advocacy updates and more. Be sure to follow your chapter and NAWBO HQ on social media and use #NAWBO when you post. Engage in conversations in the NAWBO Institute’s closed social communities. Also, sign up to receive our newsletters and eblasts. Communication is everything…just like knowledge is power!