The rise of social media has resulted in companies coming under greater scrutiny, both internally and externally, making communication executives and the C-suite accountable more than ever. These group of individuals are not only expected to be aware of social and technological trends that affect communication but the obligation to apply such knowledge in positive ways that enable companies to move forward and grow exponentially.
Here are some effective ways of responding to recent communication trends in our work this year.
Address employee activism constructively.
Gone are the days employees only voice out dissatisfaction about working conditions and pay. Nowadays, employees expect to be heard on broader social issues which is relatively a new environment for many executives. Leaders and communicators should work together to engage in open communication about sensitive issues and anticipate potential trigger issues that could pose a problem. It is vital to remain proactive and ensure company policies make relevant provisions and provide avenues for redress in such situations.
Company culture becomes a top priority.
Greater emphasis will be placed on creating a positive and vibrant workplace culture. As such, senior management and communicators have an obligation to implement creative and engaging ways of bringing employees together in line with the company’s goals, vision and values. Bear in mind the significance of promoting diversity and inclusion at the workplace. Communicators can encourage management to have honest conversations about unconscious bias and other conduct that pose as stumbling blocks to the promotion of women and a diverse workforce. According to the International Association of Business Communicators, communicators should assist leaders to knock down barriers by doing more to make the right leadership and communication coaching easily accessible.
Be ready and willing to push the envelope and take a stand.
Socially-conscious consumers are not only looking to support brands that produce quality products, but also those that contribute to the well-being of society. Communication teams can identify and develop strategies for management to take a positive stand and drive home messages that connect those causes to the business. In addition, leadership must also be prepared and ready to implement crisis communication, as taking a stand may cause potential backlash and alienate certain portions of the market.
Apply social media creatively.
The evolution of technology continues to transform the way companies communicate with the public. Once-traditional B2C, B2B and external-internal boundaries on social media are now less defined. In that regard, communicators need to get creative with social media to stay relevant. External social media channels may be better employee communication vehicles compared to internal platforms and traditional channels like LinkedIn to promote B2B services.
Make decisions without being too dependent on data.
Leaders should take the opportunity to exercise creativity and calculated risk-taking. Companies that are too data-dependent may run the risk of not taking a chance on the next big thing. In making effective decisions, communicators and leaders should bear in mind the need for transparency and clear communication.