6 Tips on Effective Employee Communication in Hybrid Workplace
Effective employee communication is the backbone of every successful business. A company can thrive in a hybrid workplace if the communication game is strong. What does it take? We can start with employees’ communication with each other, what are formats of communication the company chooses to adapt, and finish with how fluent and clearly understood communication is office-wide. We hope the following six tips will help your internal communication journey in a hybrid working field.
Effective communication needs a strategy
Plan how communication will work in your company. When employees are divided between office and remote environments, strategizing is crucial.
There are two modes of hybrid communication: synchronous and asynchronous. When making a communication plan, ensure those modes are balanced. To start with synchronous, this kind of communication happens when you transfer a message. Thus, it requires an immediate response. Examples of synchronous communication are phone calls, video conferencing, instant massaging, etc. This communication mode tends to be forgotten in hybrid teams but shouldn’t be avoided. Implement synchronous communication for feedback, problem-solving meetings, brainstorming sessions, emergencies, and planning sessions. The synchronous mode works best for team bonding as well!
Moving to asynchronous communication, we have to discuss the time delay between receiving and responding to a message. This mode of communication doesn’t happen in real time. Hence, it works when we want to eliminate the pressure of instant response. We discuss email, fax, shared documents, collaboration tools, etc. Asynchronous communication should be used to process high-quality information. Using this mode, you set reasonable time expectations to action on a sent message and come up with a response that might need more time or adjustments. Besides, some information needs to sink in before taking further action.
To determine your hybrid communication strategy, ask your teams what works best for them. Here are some ideas for those questions:
- What is the most convenient way to communicate with your teammates?
- Do you choose how to communicate depending if a person you want to reach out to works at the office or remotely?
- How do you communicate important information about work?
- What are the most convenient communication tools? In what situations?
The different message requires different formats
A meeting isn’t always an answer. To get the best results, select the appropriate communication channel. It’s essential when working in a hybrid workplace.
Of course, face-to-face communication is essential more than ever. Hence, frequent meetings are recommended and a must if there is a new hire in a team. For new team members to feel included and adapt to a company smoothly, they need to feel comfortable knowing with whom they work. Additionally, if there is something urgent or requires discussion/instant feedback, without a doubt, organize a meeting! However, meetings are not always efficient; we’ll shortly tell you why. For instance, if you want to check the status of a project with a manager, it’s better to use messaging platform to get a response faster rather than waiting for them to reply to your email or take time to do a meeting. Do you need something urgently from your supplier? Make a phone call. Do you want to release a monthly statement? Could you send it via email? Think not only about the content but also about design; the layout is essential to get employees to engage in something meaningful.
Yes, to visual communication
Communicators adopt more online channels, so visual communication is also growing in importance. People tend to engage more with visuals than they do with texts.
Messaging apps, intranets, and newsletter tools are designed to be used with visuals. Concentrate more on attention-grabbing photos, create unique designs, display information using infographics, and don’t forget video content. Visual communication is the fastest way to share information because, as human beings, we first recognize things in images. In this manner, most of us respond quicker to pictures than texts. Visual communication saves time processing information and clarifies what we want to portray with our message. In addition, using visuals in internal communication creates employee branding consistency; this can help staff members to understand the identity of the company they work in and remind them of the core values a company wants employees to follow.
Choose the right tone
Awareness of your tone is especially significant in a hybrid workplace. The reason behind this is that a big part of communication happens online, and it means communication without facial expressions or hand gestures.
Unlike a face-to-face conversation, online one can make us question what a person’s intention or tone is when a message is written only on our screens. Make sure that your communication is clear and empathetic. A company needs to think about ways to share the best practices of the tone of voice in written communication so everybody would be aware of what’s expected from them and how to communicate effectively and respectfully in teams and private messages. This way, your company can establish a framework based on company values and allows employees to work efficiently, even working with each other at a distance. Communication guidelines allow full transparency between the teams.
Recognize others. It’s important
As people don’t meet in the office so commonly, it also complicates employee recognition. This doesn’t mean that this part has to be forgotten about. It should be the opposite.
It’s essential to prioritize employee recognition and plan to attain it in digital ways. Team members need to receive motivational feedback not only from their team leaders on one to one, but also be recognized publicly. Why it’s so important? Well, it does significantly help employees to feel more connected to their organization and rewarded for the results they bring when going the extra mile. However, don’t forget to listen to each employee: how do they prefer to be recognized? While somebody would enjoy public recognition, others would like to receive it personally. When in a hybrid workplace, ensure all employees get a shout-out in digital channels. Important notice: employee recognition shouldn’t be only one day; it should be all year round. One of the solutions to make recognition sustainable is establishing a reward program.
Clearance on clarifications
Communication moving to digital space means some things can get lost in translation. It’s crucial to document during a meeting, even if it’s a remote one.
Something said during the online meeting could be misheard or misunderstood, and if the employee isn’t present at the meeting, they must trust secondhand information, which can be misinterpreted. Any solution? Force practice of making notes and documenting a meeting. It might sound old-fashioned, but it works when vital information is written down and later shared with meeting participants as a follow-up. Think about the right formats to share meeting details; it can be Slack, email, or a newsletter if there is additional information you want to share with meeting notes. This way, any team member can be sure not to miss out on any valuable information.
We hope that you’ve found the hybrid working blog helpful series! Find all the articles from the beginning:
- Hybrid Working: Advantages and Challenges of Future Workplace
- How to Make Hybrid Working a Success?
- 6 Tips on Effective Employee Communication in Hybrid Workplace