How are you guys adapting to the new all digital lifestyle in your work life? Losing track of emails? Getting slacks about meetings you are missing? Me too.
Here is what we are using as general guidelines:
1. Slack/messaging for quick questions, but not for getting feedback or sharing attachments
2. Email for sharing content and making broad announcements. If there are >3 back-forth replies on an email - call them.
3. Meetings. I think we are all learning exactly how many meetings can now be emails. However, I am also having waaaay more 1-1 calls than I ever did before. It's kind of exhilarating!
4. Internal Community - this is ideal when you need large amounts of collaboration and also for results to be easily found by anyone in the future. It's growing dramatically here, and we have been using our community for over 20 years!
@LisaB I know you had some thoughts on how to make spaces and communication more open and supportive as well.
Solved! Go to Solution.
I think there are a few critical elements to this:
There needs to be a culture of documenting outcomes. For example, you might have a Zoom meeting, which is fine, but the outcomes and next steps need to be documented somewhere (such as a project management or ticketing system.)
There needs to be a central clubhouse. The team needs to spend time together. Slack is good, but not perfect for this. It enables real-time discussion, but is very poor at providing reusable insights. Forums are much better at this: try to ensure longer form discussions are in a forum so it is searchable.
Integrating platforms can be a tools errand. We need to integrate Slack and Khoros! We need to integrate email and Slack! Lots of these conversations happen, and in many cases this integration doesn't work well. For example, Slack and forums are just too different. Focus on (1) single accounts to authenticate users, and (2) documenting key outcomes and reflecting that documentation elsewhere (e.g. track meeting notes in a project management system and update the team on Slack.)
I also write about some of these challenges in my Forbes piece: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonobacon/2020/03/10/how-to-switch-to-remote-working-quickly-for-both-e...
I would agree with @jonobacon, there are a variety of tools that can support remote connection and they each have great strengths but many of them also require people to be there in the moment, together, which of course at times like this, can in itself prove challenging.
It's probably no surprise I'm a big advocate for providing an internal space for employees to connect within community. Its not only provides a safe space to support and enable each other, but a space they can engage and connect when they're able, removing the challenge of being available together at precise times.
The ability to connect easily with your peers is important, but its at times like this it becomes crucial, and I think @allensmith81 and @elinares hit the nail on the head when they talk about giving community the ability to not only talk about issues, and questions relevant to the business, but a safe space to be open, honest and vulnerable, the strength of connection this type of support network provides cannot be underestimated.
I think this has a lot less to do with the tools you have (most organizations have a variety to choose from) and much more to do with leadership, trust, transparency, and culture.
So many communications professionals are well-versed in controlling and crafting carefully shared information but in a situation like this, where things are moving so quickly that is a fool's errand. It can cause information to seize up completely, while decision-makers wait until they have something 'clean' to share. The absence of information breeds a lot of frustration, confusion, anxiety, and often counter-productive emergent efforts because there is an information vacuum.
I wrote this piece about the role communities play in managing a crisis, which also includes this video from a WHO infectious disease expert. It's critical during crises - more so than other times - to include the community in shaping the response so that they are included as things change. Otherwise, they will not understand or accept the decisions that need to be adopted quickly.
I often say that perfection is the enemy of engagement - in this particular case, perfection kills.