Communication has always played a crucial role in a company’s success, but with the COVID-19 outbreak it has become more important than ever. Most businesses are operating under different circumstances than they’re used to. Teams are either working remotely or keeping a safe distance away from their coworkers.
As a result, it now takes more effort stay in contact. It’s tempting to skip walking across the building to chat with a coworker or forget to give someone a video call while working at home. This challenge remains even as we shift toward reopening, as many teams are split in multiple locations and are dealing with new responsibilities or tasks. In our busy workdays, it’s all too easy to let communication fall by the wayside.
Now is the time to utilize all of our available resources to internally keep in contact. As leaders, we need to set the example for our teams. Frequent and honest communication is what will keep us banded together (figuratively, of course) during this time of uncertainty.
Here’s why it is so important to stay connected:
To Maintain Trust
Teams look to their leaders to be the voice of reason when everything feels out of control.
At first glance, you may think that as a leader you need to have all the answers, but that’s not true. It’s okay to be uncertain – no one is expecting you to pull a miracle out of your hat. Your teams are looking to you for clarity on what you will do next and why. Furthermore, teams need transparency. By giving people a transparent look at where the company is at, you can undercut hearsay or rumors that might sprout up about layoffs or pay cuts.
Open and honest communication from each leader helps maintain trust and keeps expectations grounded. Keeping your team apprised of any changes you’re making shows you respect them and have their best interests at heart.
Without trust in leadership, individuals will have no trust in the company.
To Minimize Errors
Communication helps the team deliver the same quality services that clients deserve. Oftentimes, errors in our work all come down to simple miscommunication or lack of communication between team members.
Just because circumstances are out of the ordinary doesn’t mean that the client should expect less. In fact, with budgets tighter than ever, many clients are expecting even MORE from their vendors and partners. Furthermore, a lot of teams are adapting to working with new processes or responsibilities in reopened businesses or in preparation of reopening. These changes invite errors if we are not properly communicating. To drive the best performance, stress to your team that they need to over-communicate about projects.
It’s always better to air on the side of over-communicating than under-communicating. But in order to make that happen, leaders need to clearly define expectations and make no assumptions about who is doing what!
To Stimulate Inspiration
It’s hard to overstate the psychological effects of a historic pandemic combined with an economic recession on our teams. Many people are feeling isolated, scared, frustrated. While we can’t make everything go away, communication can be a powerful tool to alleviate these feelings.
Scheduling time in our busy days for social calls or videos helps make sure we feel connected and can be a great way to let off some steam. Furthermore, communication can often kickstart effective brainstorming when we’re feeling stuck or lacking new ideas. Encouraging everyone to stay social with each other through calls, videos, or messaging can help keep them out of that slump.
When people feel that they are connected and working as a team, their motivation to complete tasks increases.
Remind your teams that although we are in separate work spaces, we are in this together.
Placing Value on Communication Is What Will Get Us Through These Difficult Times
Communication is a crucial part of keeping spirits high and driving business results. However, it’s also such a basic part of daily work that it’s easy to overlook or take for granted.
As leaders, we must do our part to ensure our teams are communicating by setting a great example and providing gentle, regular encouragement. None of us are fighting this battle alone – make sure your teams know that!