Connecting with employees in a digital, hybrid world
According to a Gallup poll, 50% of employees don’t feel connected to their company’s culture. Internal communicators: Oh no! Well, we’re all still working remote or hybrid, so I should send more emails! Gallup poll: 71% of employees don’t read or engage with company emails or content. Internal communicators: 😱 The eternal work of building or maintaining company culture has been made more difficult by hybrid work arrangements that limit ways to make that culture come alive. It starts to feel like email and Zoom calls are all that’s left — and when employees tire of those, then what? But it is possible to build engagement, regardless of work location! In fact, Gallup also found that employees who work remote or hybrid have higher levels of engagement than those who work exclusively on-site. It just requires some extra creativity. While many communications naturally come from top leadership, don’t overlook the power of communications from direct managers to help employees feel connected. These managers likely have a more personal relationship with employees and can deliver customized communications that are relevant to their team’s work. And they can help make that connection between their work and the company’s mission and culture. The more tools and resources we can give these managers, the better. They may need guidance on how to frame a topic for their employees, or how to tackle a difficult subject impacting their team. Any opportunity to tell personal stories also goes a long way. Think about your company’s major objectives or values, look for stories from employees that exemplify those — and then elevate them! It may be a behind-the-scenes story from someone involved in an important initiative, or someone who goes above and beyond for their community. These kinds of stories give people another way to connect with colleagues, and ultimately the organization. The bottom line: Even in our hybrid world, there are lots of ways to get your message across! And if you are using email (because it’s inevitable and necessary), be thoughtful about the messages you’re sending and think creatively about how to effectively use this medium.