Conversations in times of crisis

The Covid-19 situation has led companies to respond to a call that has been echoing for some years: reinvent themselves to create flexible work environments, prioritize honest communication and align business objectives with the personal aspirations of employees.

This pandemic has transformed businesses. From the spaces intended for work to the communication channels, they have adapted to the conditions of social isolation. Virtuality has facilitated the connection between work teams, the monitoring of processes and the exchange of knowledge, in order to create new business opportunities.

Companies have at their disposal a variety of communication tools such as email, WhatsApp, Zoom, Meets by Google Hangouts, Cisco WebEx, Jitsi and ooVoo, which allow the team to integrate without exposing it to the risks of moving around the city and have contact with other people.

Although these applications facilitate internal and external communication, the true value is in the message, in honest, clear and transparent communication that has the ability to reduce fear and build trust. Proof of this is that historically many companies have had the intranet as a one-way communication tool, with little interaction. Today this network is one of the means that employees have to be aware of the reality of their company and feel close to their team.

Dialogues that guide and reassure

Conversations should be the priority of organizations, what was previously perceived as dead spaces or inactivity, today is the opportunity to get closer to collaborators, learn about their concerns, get closer to their personal lives and let them know the financial conditions, the business challenges and opportunities. Doing so reduces uncertainty and generates more trust in the organization, which brings autonomy, co-responsibility and a positive impact on productivity.

Leaders are called to direct these spaces, to be direct, sensitive and to recognize the value that each collaborator has for the company. According to Susana Zapata, leader of Caramelo Escaso, a company that is an expert in organizational culture, “the leader must empower, provide autonomy and business knowledge, connect with conversations, measure the temperature of the team and download information. In short, he must be the bearer of that organizational culture”.

In addition, it is important to devise new spaces designed to strengthen personal ties. For example, you can establish a few weekly moments to share and recognize the talents of the collaborators in which they teach how to taste beers, dance, pair wines or draw, all based on the strengths of the team members. The important thing is to do it frequently to create the habit incorporated into the organizational culture. You should not imitate external models, or force a team, but be inspired and land ideas taking into account the particularities of the company.

Each company is a universe that today receives the same call: manage communication from virtuality with honesty and transparency to reduce fear. Meeting this challenge of reinventing oneself can bring important changes to the work environment and positively impact productivity.

When communication is honest, assertive and transparent, it has the power to reduce uncertainty and fear and increase confidence and autonomy.

5 keys to communicate with your team

1. Rescue the value of narratives.  When you communicate with anecdotes, stories and creativity, you transcend the theoretical and connect from the emotions.

2. Reinvention begins with the leaders.  In conjunctural moments like the ones we are experiencing, we need to communicate a key message that inspires employees to be where the company needs them. When the leader demonstrates his versatility and flexibility, he motivates and becomes an example.

3. Set clear rules.  When the team is empowered and committed to the business, they will be able to participate in creating flexible rules that involve less control and more freedom.

4. Symbols refresh.  WhatsApp stickers, personalized emoticons or gifs break with everyday life, create an atmosphere of closeness and allow recognition at special moments.

5. Reward ideas.  Create spaces to share new business models, ways of working or communicating. It is important that the ideas not only come from the managers, but that everyone contributes, gets involved and feels part of the solutions and the construction.

Source:  Scarce Candy team.



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