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3rd Jun 2020
3 Min Read

Future focus. 5 areas for a lasting internal comms legacy

Daniel Lambie
Daniel Lambie
Strategy

As we begin to descend from the peak of COVID-19, we still face more unknowns than certainties. What this gives us, though, is choices.

The impact we’ve made as internal communicators during the pandemic should not be underplayed. We’ve rolled up our sleeves to build and deliver timely communications to our many fragmented and fragile audiences against a backdrop of chaos and great uncertainty. We’ve delivered key operational messages to keep our people safe and keep our organisations running. And we’ve thought about our colleagues’ wellbeing and strengthened their connections to our organisations at a time where we all feel so distant. What we’ve done and how we’ve got there should never be forgotten.

But our work is far from over. We now face a long tail, a period of transition where everything will be challenged. We need to keep our focus and use the innovative thinking and urgency of the last few months to help influence and shape the future. This is how and where we can create a legacy that will more likely be permanent.

Our talents will be best used in five areas:

  1. Operations. It is likely most businesses will be dealing with long-term disruption as lockdown is gradually eased. This presents operational challenges that go beyond the efforts merely to keep the lights on during lockdown. How we prepare for this, involving and communicating with employees will set us apart.
  2. Culture. During lockdown, there has been a sense of camaraderie: that we’re all in this together. If long-term disruption to normal working patterns persist, how will we maintain this? What impact will it have on our culture? And how can we help them best manage this? It should become a catalyst for positive change, but it needs to be managed.
  3. Business. As government aid is dialled down, many organisations will be faced with a decision to make radical restructures – some are already doing this. What does the medium-term economic outlook mean for the business’s strategy? How can we help it manage this and bring employees along?
  4. Engagement. We shouldn’t miss this opportunity to look at our EVP. Now is our moment to listen to our employees and learn from this crisis to create a new workplace where people feel valued and can thrive.
  5. Reputation. Organisations will be remembered and will be held to account for how they are treating their employees right now. It’s important we continue to stress this as decisions are being considered. We should also be highlighting our internal heroes and building stronger advocacy.

I’m unconvinced that society will be reset wholesale. Capitalism will prevail and I’ll be interested to see how consumer behaviour will change.

Regardless of what the future might look like, that shouldn’t stop us from using our new-found increased influence and stature to improve the world of work. In fact, it’s our responsibility. Not just for ourselves, but for the people keeping our businesses afloat.

Want to explore these topics further?


'Emerging from COVID-19: How internal communicators can help shape the evolving work environment'

18 June | 8:30 - 9:30am GMT | Webinar

Lead behavioural scientist Lindsay Kohler will join the panel, hosted by IoIC London, to explore the coming challenges and opportunities for internal communications.

Find out more and register

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