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How to manage company communication throughout a lockdown

25 Mar 2020

New Zealand will officially be in lockdown from March 26 onwards – no traditional socialising, no takeaway food, no trips to the mall and, crucially for many, no going to work. 

The challenges presented to New Zealanders who are now working from home are many. Internet connections must be up to scratch, businesses must make sure their system security is not compromised, and an increased effort to manage communication within workforces not physically working together are only some of the hurdles to overcome.

Communication within a company is crucial at the best of times, and the world is not in the best of times right now. To ensure business continuity throughout COVID-19, proper and functional communication must be maintained.

Vibe, a visual communication platform aimed at transforming internal communications, says companies need to have the right tools to get them through this unprecedented global event, and to do this, company culture needs to flow beyond the physical office to keep ‘business as usual’.


Why communication is the lifeblood of an organisation

Information must be spread across an entire organisation in a consistent way to ensure group homogeneity, says Vibe, and this in turn forms the structure of a well-functioning organisation.

Team goals and performance metrics are another hugely important area of information that needs to flow effortlessly to align and motivate teams.

In this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, communication around wellbeing and health is of particular importance.


Keeping communication flowing to home-based workers

As remote work ramps up, there is a risk that individual workers may start feeling disconnected and even isolated.

This has implications for mental wellbeing as well as a direct impact on how well they perform their jobs and contribute to the organisation as a whole. 

 

Some methods and programmes to ensure healthy communication for remote work:

  • Event calendars; highlight employee birthdays or other celebrations that will get people interacting online
     
  • Quotes of the day and motivational messages; limit them to a line or two of text and powerful images
     
  • Important company updates; of course, keeping everyone informed about performance, policies and other topical news is even more important when people are not coming into the office
     
  • Informative and inspiring videos – daily or weekly messages from CEO that help teams keep motivated and focused on key tasks. You can also use this format to deliver light and fun messages from Heads of Departments.
     

Using simple tools to promote better communication

Auckland based SaaS company Labyrinth Solutions launched their visual communication platform ‘Vibe’ to solve the communication challenges organisations are facing when it comes to engaging with today's’ workforce. 

Labyrinth is already working with a number of high-profile New Zealand businesses to improve this collaborative working spirit, both in and outside the office. 

Vibe delivers vibrant, snackable and timely information via digital channels – some examples include screensavers and dedicated web browsers.

Using the Vibe web browser ensures the first thing employees see when they use the internet is a dedicated home page designed to promote productive communication. 

The highly visual nature of the format is what Vibe clients say help it stand out above other communication solutions.

When The Warehouse Group conducted their trial last week with over 1,200 employees working from home, their internal communications team were very impressed with how it helped keep teams connected and motivated.

“Team members stated that the Vibe screens were very useful for ensuring that they were receiving important information remotely,” says The Warehouse Group internal communications channels specialist Melody Currey. 

“This included information about how to keep everyone safe during the pandemic, current store communications and promotional videos – all information that team members may have missed through being out of the office. 

“Vibe screens are the ideal platform for uploading more motivational messaging, especially now that all TWG SSO are working from home,” says Currey.