The world won’t wait

The world around your business moves quickly - from political changes to world health and more. How do you make sure your team is up to date?

“Things move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” said Ferris Bueller in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The same is true for your company communications.

The world around your business moves quickly - from political changes to world health and more. Plus, there are internal changes to deal with - acquisitions, new product launches, leadership changes, and business pivots. But those changes don’t happen on your set all-hands meeting schedule.

And the world isn’t going to wait until you do have a meeting coming up.

If you choose to delay communications, you could have to redirect uncertainty among your teams, rumors and gossip, and assumptions about what’s going to happen.

The uncertainty, rumors, and assumptions all lead to decreased productivity. Rather than focusing on the work at hand or the shifts the company needs to make, your team is trying to guess what’s brewing. An uncertain team is a team that loses trust and faith in the transparency of their leadership (see 5 Reasons to Increase Your Communication)

To combat this, you can leverage proactive communication to keep your team working in the same direction. You’ve got a few choices for how to keep everyone in your company informed:

  1. Send a company-wide email. Email is a powerful tool to communicate with hundreds or thousands of people at the same time. That’s one reason that companies use it to keep in touch with their customers. But sharing with customers is very different than communicating with your staff. Email and written communication can be challenging to convey tone, especially about sensitive topics.
  2. Leverage small team meetings. Small team meetings are great tools for communicating changes, especially when you may need to address individual questions. Unfortunately, they can also be hard to schedule. And the same leadership team may not be able to attend every meeting, which means your key messages will be communicated by different team members each time.
  3. Schedule a company-wide meeting. Company-wide meetings are an ideal tool for these types of situations, but it’s nearly impossible to get the entire staff together. When someone misses the meeting, they get the scoop from a coworker - and then they get the message the way the coworker interpreted it.

Of course, if you’re an All Hands user, you can create an update for your entire staff at any time, and they can watch it as soon as they’re available. It’s more convenient than trying to schedule a company-wide meeting, ensures more consistent communication than small team meetings, and delivers tone and inflection better than an email.

When your staff updates are more efficient, you can also do them more frequently. Let’s take a look at an example of when an ad-hoc staff update could benefit your company.

Recently, countries across the world were impacted by the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Some countries quickly instituted country-wide lockdowns, while others took a more wait-and-see approach. One universal thing was a level of uncertainty about what was going to come next.

Times like these are perfect opportunities for your company to do an impromptu update - even if the only communication to the team is “We’re working on our next steps.” A personable and straightforward outreach like this can win you favor with your team and give you time to build a better response.

The changes in the world don’t wait for your next staff meeting. Neither will the expectations of your staff. Start leveraging asynchronous updates to improve your communication, build team morale, and increase productivity.

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