We’ve certainly needed to up our internal communications game, quickly, over the past few months.
In early March I had a clear plan for how we would be engaging and communicating with our colleagues about how they might need to change with new organisational developments and a new strategy for Magna. By the end of March this was pretty much irrelevant and much of it impossible.
With the lockdown we had to rethink how we engaged and spoke with our colleagues and making sure we were informative, responsive and relevant at all times. We knew that as we were working remotely we needed to step up the communication – no more catching people in the kitchen, in the corridor or at the end of meetings. We needed to put in place channels to try to fill these gaps, and make sure that we were more purposeful in our communications.
Luckily we already had some great channels established across the organisation with people already using Yammer and video conferencing, as well as starting to use MS Teams. We also have an Executive Team committed to openness and transparency, as well as being committed to delivering effective colleague communication and engagement. This was a great help.
In the early stages of Covid-19 we were sending out weekly updates to colleagues to let them know about changes in the organisation, sending these out via email and on Yammer, plus texting and messaging our maintenance teams to encourage them to look at the message. As we entered lockdown we sent daily messages from the chief executive and produced guides and information about how to use the different systems, what channels to use and how to keep well both physically and mentally.
We also needed a platform to host this information – so we brought forward the development of our new Sharepoint intranet so people could find any information we had sent out or published easily.
The use of video conferencing increased, as it has everywhere, and we introduced regular all-company sessions to update colleagues and to hear how things were going. We also encouraged people to call and catch up with each other keep networked and connected across the organisation. We also encouraged more social activities, which has included a virtual dog show, tea parties and a weekly music quiz.
We’ve done a huge amount of communication during the past few months but most recently every team has had the opportunity to meet up (virtually) to feedback about how they are, what has worked for them working at home and what support they might need for a future which is looking more remote and more agile. We’ve engaged about 80% of our workforce to hear what they have to say which will now inform our future workplace strategy, both for the short and long term.
What has been satisfying is the positive feedback about communications. We seem to be on the right track and certainly setting the scene for the future.