Find out about the importance of communication in learning and the 5app pillars of agile learning: Development, Knowledge & Communication.
Why change is the best catalyst for better business communication
In business, change is the only constant. Whether it’s a massive global crisis or a team-specific change management programme, there will always be some sort of change to navigate.
When you’re going through a period of change, it’s more important than ever to communicate, communicate and communicate some more for good measure… but the key to great business communication is quantity AND quality. Where can your people go to find a single point of truth? What happens when change is constant? And how can you make sure you’re cutting through the noise with your most important company comms without spamming everyone’s inboxes?
Times of change give you the perfect chance to hone your employee comms, and your employees will appreciate being kept in the loop and knowing what’s happening when. Let’s take a look at a three-pronged approach to improving your company comms in times of change.
Connecting learning & knowledge sharing
In pretty much all businesses, learning and knowledge sharing are inextricably linked. When change is communicated across the organisation, there will inevitably be some element of learning required to properly cement the change. It may be as simple as reading a short document outlining a new process or as complex as engaging in a full elearning programme to understand new regulatory requirements.
Every change you communicate, no matter how big or small, brings with it a learning opportunity. That’s why it makes sense to choose a learning and comms platform that supports both. Why complicate things?
In 2020, Hemsley Fraser engaged in a large-scale digital transformation, which required a huge change management programme. With the 5app platform, they were able to seamlessly integrate learning and comms, with tailored playlists of useful resources sitting alongside regular company updates from the leadership team. Removing barriers to learning by making it more accessible is a great way to ensure people actually engage with your content. Crazy, right?!
“We've been through an enormous transformation here at Hemsley. So what we have to do is ensure that we're taking folks with us with the skills and development that everybody needs to make sure that they're aligned to our digital-first strategy."
– Lynsey Whitmarsh, CEO, Hemsley Fraser
In every update you provide to your employees, think about signposting them to further reading or information. Many employees will take a proactive approach to information gathering, so make sure they’re accessing the right resources by providing links or encouraging them to leave comments with any burning questions.
Giving a voice to leadership
Anyone who’s tried to manage an internal employee newsletter knows how excruciating it can be getting everyone’s updates on time. The sales leader misses their deadline, and you end up pushing the send date back - again.
Additionally, not every update will fall neatly into your monthly internal comms schedule. You don’t want to be waiting three weeks to share an important update - so what can you do instead?
Creating a space on your learning and comms platform for leadership updates means that leaders can create their own posts as and when they have news. For instance, if HR introduces a new annual leave policy, the HR leader can post in the leadership space, ensuring employees get the update in real time.
Also, unlike a traditional internal newsletter, it facilitates two-way conversations between leaders and employees. Whether it’s a post from the Head of Marketing about potential new brand directions or a video from the CEO about an update to the business strategy, this approach benefits employees, who get faster access to important information, and business leaders, who can get feedback from employees instead of sending a message out into a vacuum.
No business with a remote or hybrid workforce would be seen without an instant messaging platform, whether that’s Microsoft Teams, Slack or Google Chat. And that’s great! These apps are an essential part of hybrid and remote working life (and not just for the memes or podcast recommendations).
There’s huge value in regular social interactions with colleagues - after all, a harmonious workforce is a productive workforce. But it’s possible to squeeze even more value out of employee comms - especially when it comes to social learning and knowledge sharing, and especially in times of change. Something as simple as having a space online to ask and answer questions within a team is invaluable for creating a team-specific knowledge bank that is always up to date.
As part of your change management programme, it’s even more important to keep teammates involved and engaged. For example, imagine a team is switching from 100% remote work to a hybrid model. A team manager can create a shared calendar within the main learning and comms platform, and employees can update it with their days in the office to allow people to sync their in-office days and plan meetings more efficiently.
A final top tip? Enable likes and comments on individual resources in your learning and comms platform. It acts as ‘social proof’, helping guide employees to the most useful content, and as an added bonus, you can see exactly what’s resonating with your people (and what isn’t). Win-win!