In the last few months, our office desks emptied, and telecommuting became the norm.
What lessons does this coronavirus crisis teach us about collaboration and communication?
How to ensure fluid communication with employees and partners in the event of a crisis (coronavirus)?
How do you get everyone to go with the flow during confinement?
What is expected of you, as an employer or a team leader, during a period of confinement?
The communication training for managers is a great tool to improve the way you transmit the message.
● Communicate as quickly as possible:
Reporting bad news is what every employer wants to avoid. It's tempting to think that you can solve problems first before you communicate about them.
Yet communicating is always a good idea, even if you can't estimate the impact of the situation 100%.
There is no shame in admitting that it is not yet possible to paint a full picture.
Waiting and doing nothing is much more damaging, leads to nothing, and causes concern among your employees, customers, and partners.
To avoid misunderstandings, it is better to sound the alarm as soon as possible.
● Don't beat around the bush. Be transparent:
Communicating as early as possible is one thing, communicating transparently is another.
The challenges of this crisis are multiple: saving lives, surviving as a company, dealing with the loss of income, the problem of employees who fall ill or staff being temporarily unemployed.
Not to mention the pre-crisis timings that are no longer valid in the "new normal". Tell the truth. To tell things as they are in a crisis situation is already remedying. This is the only way to control it.
The uncertainties and ambiguities will not just disappear. First, identify the worst scenarios, discuss them, and then look for solutions together, first with your employees, then your partners. Afterwards, tell them how you plan to best support them.
Even if your business is severely affected, proactive communication is still the best option.
If you communicate transparently as early as possible about the financial and operational impact of the crisis, everyone will be better prepared.
If you can continue working, even at a different pace, make sure to maintain a transparent relationship with your employees, partners, and customers.
Explain the situation to them: reassure them that everyone can always count on you, but deliveries will be slower due to the pandemic.
Even if the situation is not good or if you do not have a completely clear idea, keep in touch with your collaborators and partners. Quickly and transparently: this is the only way to find solutions together.
Solutions for a better communication
What communication systems work best during times of lockdown? How to stay connected when your employees are scattered all over the place?
There is no lack of tools. All you need is a good internet connection and headphones to help you concentrate.
Make your choice according to your needs: the number of participants or the need, or lack thereof, to share computer screens, for example. If online collaboration is not going well, here are some alternatives:
With Zoom, particularly popular in academia, you can reach up to 10,000 people.
The free account limits sessions to 45 minutes. It is therefore a question of sticking to the essentials. Time is precious. Participants receive a URL link to join the virtual meeting room.
You can also share your computer screen with other participants, which is useful for a presentation, workshop, or online training.
Discord and Whereby are also very user-friendly. Discord is highly successful in the gaming world and can bring together up to 50 participants.
Whereby is free for up to 4 people and very stable thanks to peer-to-peer technology. You don't need to upload a file; the URL takes you directly to the right meeting room.
How do you keep all the team members working together? Communicating is not enough.
Stay alert, make sure everyone 'goes with the flow' and, most importantly that everyone is 'on track' in terms of content.
When everyone is working on the same project in their corner, regular upgrading is in order.
Schedule meetings at regular intervals, for example, 3 times a day. To keep everyone on the same course, it is essential to communicate often.
One voice, one vision, focused on the essentials:
Ultimately, for everyone to stay on the same course, you need a leader who knows where they are going. You are looking for new solutions outside the box, you stay determined and you envision your business in the long term.