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Internal Communications: Taking the Pulse of Your Team's Well-Being

Internal Communications: Taking the Pulse of Your Team's Well-Being

COVID-19 has forced us to regularly check in with ourselves and our mental health. Are we stressed more than usual? Most definitely. Are we able to perform our normal daily routines as effectively as we were pre-COVID? Probably not. But this pandemic has also forced us to check in with our children, families, friends, students and colleagues to ensure they know they are not alone and have support.

So for a moment, let's focus on our work colleagues: what does your school's internal communications look like? Have you reassessed how you communicate if your team is working remotely? I share recommendations all the time about external communications and their importance, but internal communications are just as critical. If you are a leader, are you providing consistent, transparent information to your staff so they are regularly kept informed? If you are an employee, do you feel like you are being given accurate, timely information, or are you frustrated because you're often not sure what is going on?

Internal communications can help you maintain a team's positive culture and overall health and must be given priority, especially with the added stress of our current situation. If not, you yourself will probably feel or you may see colleagues struggling with emotions like frustration, anger and resentment, which can all lead to disengagement and dissatisfaction. Here are some statistics from a survey the communication firm Audacity shared in a recent webinar:

What makes for good internal communications:

What employees feel they actually get:

Further, the survey posed the question, "What do you think would happen if a company stopped communicating with its employees?" The results:

One last question I'll share with you is what employees want from internal communications that would help build their trust:

These are all key suggestions that leaders should be thoughtful of when communicating with staff. State your information clearly, truthfully and as directly as possible. Sometimes the truth may be uncomfortable, but in the end, it's much better than to try to tap dance around it.

But they are also words that staff members should take to heart. We've all got added pressure on us right now; sharing kindness, thoughtfulness and communicating efficiently will go a long way in helping maintain a sense of efficiency and smooth operations, even from a distance.

Sarah Julian

Director, Communications

Sarah serves as the Director of Communications for the OPSRC. In this role, she provides support, consultation and training on a variety of critical tools and PR functions, including communication plans, social media policies, crisis communications, media relations and website content.

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