Communications Week 2020 comes at a time when communication has never been so important. 2020 has been the year of isolation, connection and restriction and communication has played a significant role in all of this.
Maintaining strong connections as we move further forwards into the unknown of this pandemic must be a key focus and we should not become complacent. With technology we can interact with more people on a daily basis that we could ever do in person. Even though that contact is virtual, there’s still etiquette that applies for ensuring good communication. The virtual art of communication still demands eye contact, body language and voice modulation. These things shouldn’t be forgotten.
Whether you’re communicating with colleagues, clients, suppliers, friends or family, be fully present and make sure you give all of you to the conversation. If you are on a Zoom or Teams call, ensure your video is switched on and give your full attention. Don’t be part checking your phone or finishing up an email. It’s unlikely we would do that in person, so the same basic communication manners apply for virtual meetings and catch ups. That might be one of the only conversations the other person has had that day so make it count.
The best tools for keeping connected
What are the best tools for keeping connected? A question on many of our minds. Our new virtual world of communicating is not all about Teams meetings and Zoom quizzes. In fact, I think most of us are sick of Zoom quizzes now. It’s important to mix it up. We’re all different so one method won’t suit everyone. Teams is great for sharing content and the instant chat function is useful but there are also other tools like Asana and Slack that facilitate one-on-one and collaborative working. Slack has a ‘Hey Taco’ integration specifically designed for boosting engagement, building camaraderie and celebrating successes. Who doesn’t love a taco?
Virtual communication doesn’t stop at office based tools though. Why not create Strava or Endomondo events and instigate a running/walking or cycling challenge for your colleagues. There are also organsied virtual events online from companies like Run Things so all you have to do is enter your group and the rest is taken care of. Everyone gets to take part and do their bit to reach a collective goal. This activity also goes some way in supporting physical and mental health as we move into winter. You’ll be surprised how much buzz this creates among teams and it gets people that might be spread across the country talking and collaborating together.
Why not sign up to a team virtual charity challenge to support fundraising and create a sense of fulfillment. Or host a virtual football league, a bake off or a book club? If people can be part of something that interests them they are more likely to want to take part and communication will also flourish if they are passionate about a subject. Ask your employees and get them to vote on challenges that would interest and engage them. This will really help develop and maintain strong connections without being in the office.
As we navigate through the colder, darker months and face further restrictions and upheaval, remember communication is king. Pick up the phone, arrange a Zoom chat or group exercise challenge, talk to your neighbours over the fence, grab a coffee and go for a distanced walk, send some flowers or bake a cake and leave it on a friend or colleague’s doorstep – it all counts and could really lifts someone’s spirits. Communication is key in all walks of life, especially now.
We have a number of communications guides available to download for free.