A Message from Our President: Communication Is Everything | NAWBO

Over the summer, NAWBO Chicago hosted two in-person events. We all expressed how happy we were to finally come together, but something that multiple members had mentioned was how much they were struggling with Zoom fatigue on top of having to pivot their businesses. Now, as the pandemic comes back with a vengeance with the Delta variant, many of us will be forced to continue using Zoom.

The theme for September is “Communication Is Everything.” Regardless of the state of the world, 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 height of the pandemic because face-to-face interactions were off the table.

So, what have we learned? What lessons have we discovered that we should carry forward into our businesses? Here are five major lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic that we’re going to hold onto for years to come:

  1. Always put your employees first: 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 for all involved.

  2. Empower them: Not all communications have to come from you. Give your team the training and tools to communicate effectively to give your comms a horizontal approach.

  3. Overcommunicate: your team will appreciate being in the know, much more so than the opposite.

  4. Use–and advocate for– hought, care and empathy: just like we all aimed to do during the pandemic when anxieties were high.

  5. 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.

When our company first went remote, we all enjoyed being able to spend more time at home and avoid long commutes, but it wasn’t long before loneliness kicked in. I had to learn to let go of my team and work alone. When some of the team started to come back, I saw morale go down, with some team members losing enthusiasm entirely. I had to figure out how to remain connected with each of them to keep up the momentum. I had to step in and get creative.

  • We started having weekly check-in meetings that began by asking about their personal lives. We talked about our highs and lows, and from there they were able to take ownership of their own leadership skills, and their sharing helped them become more comfortable.

  • For staff birthdays, we sent out flowers and sang Happy Birthday to celebrate them.

  • We refocused our problem-solving efforts. If our issues were not resolved after two emails, we would hop on a video call and brainstorm solutions instead.

  • We always found ways to have fun, like sending memes and gifs to keep everyone laughing and keep moods light. We got creative with our laughs, like recording videos of our dance parties. Things like this seem silly or unprofessional, but they keep spirits light and energies high!

At NAWBO, communication of any kind helps us 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 relevant information, education opportunities, advocacy updates and more. Be sure to follow our chapter and NAWBO Headquarters (HQ) on social media, using #NAWBO when you post, and be sure to sign up to receive newsletters and eblasts.

Communication is everything… and knowledge is power!

Stronger Together,

 

 

Elizabeth Colón 

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