Life after Brexit
6 top tips for internal communications professionals
Since Friday’s EU Referendum result, action, decisions and a roadmap forward have been noticeable by their absence. Direction from politicians is not forthcoming. Institutions are releasing conflicting and sometimes-concerning messages. Competitors, the press and commentators on social media are drip-feeding information into the public eye – some relevant, some less so.
Your employees are looking for answers.
As internal communications professionals, we face a significant challenge. So what do you need to do?
1. Share what you know
In times of uncertainty, don’t wait for the whole story to emerge. Share news updates regularly – even if there have been no updates. And if you don’t know something, or are still working on it – be honest and open about this.
2. Questions and answers
Give people an easy channel through which to ask any questions: a dedicated email inbox for example. This directs all questions to the same place giving you oversight of their hot topics and helping you prioritise what information to share. It also means individuals in departments don’t get bombarded with the same questions over and over.
3. Bring it all together
A digital hub on a channel such as an intranet or microsite becomes a go-to destination for information. Post internal news in a blog-style so people can see the chronology of announcements, and pull through external news sources where relevant. If you don’t have a digital channel, a noticeboard dedicated to all things Brexit can work just as well – as long as it’s updated regularly.
4. Be mindful of your audience
Remember half of your people will disagree with the way the other half voted. It’s important your communications remain impartial, even if the outcome is painful for your business. Everyone will appreciate you focusing on the path forward rather than spending too much energy criticising or over-analysing the result.
5. Respect and wellbeing
Respect and tolerance are essential to your business in order to make a way through uncertain times. Apportioning blame or applying pressure is inappropriate behaviour at any time, but in particular when people are anxious about their short and long-term future. Remain vigilant towards your people policies; don’t let important political debate become an excuse for unacceptable actions and attitudes. Act swiftly, decisively and visibly should the need arise.
6. Revisit your strategy
Your strategy is your organisation’s ultimate guide to decision making. The result will no doubt have impacted some or all of your strategy so now is the time to review it and identify what may need to change – and what you must never let go of no matter what happens.
There is much uncertainty ahead, and internal communications professionals will be at the heart of some major messaging in the weeks, months and years ahead. Start smart and you have the chance to make a massive difference to your people, and to your business.
If you need help crafting a message, building a hub or introducing a new way to share news – give us a call.