Last year, Simpplr Research’s most downloaded report was State of Internal Communications 2019. While we were planning to update last year’s version with updated benchmarks, COVID-19 came along. Thus, we decided to change this year’s report.
The State of Internal Communications during COVID-19 takes a look at:
- How internal communications (IC) professionals have handled the abrupt recent changes (especially in transitioning toward work from home life)
- Whether leadership has risen to the occasion and how they’re perceived
- How technology has held up and what changes need to be made
- How IC professionals are looking toward and preparing for our return to work in what many call “the new abnormal”
Internal Communications Takeaways During COVID-19
The State of Internal Communications During COVID-19 report showcases the importance of IC professionals especially during this time but many of the same challenges are highlighted from before.
The survey asked all internal communications respondents one optional, open-ended question: “What’s your biggest takeaway from this experience and lesson for others moving forward?
The responses show a range of emotions and key learnings that many of us have experienced over the past several months. These are arguably the most valuable aspects of this research and shows how transformational COVID-19 has been for all of us.
- Plan for the unexpected and be proactive
- Help leaders and other departments plan and coordinate messages throughout communication channels
- Create weekly e-newsletters to share information and informative articles, conduct pulse surveys, etc. with employees. The open rates have been exceptional, and we’ve averaged better than 75% attendance at our weekly virtual town halls with the President.
- Form a cross-functional crisis management team early and begin communicating as quickly as possible from a single point of contact/version of the truth perspective
- Weekly CEO updates during times of great uncertainty are not “too much” – employees consistently point to them as reassuring, encouraging, and helping them focus on company goals.
- Keep everyone close, communicate regularly. Great opportunity to get to know people in a different way, great way to focus on work-life balance.
- Always take care of your health and be respectful of people around you.
- Have one source of truth. Don’t undermine employees’ smarts and expectations.