Bringing Them Back: Internal Communications Strategies to Keep Furloughed Workers Engaged

Last updated on May 24, 2022 at 04:15 pm

COVID-19’s impact on all industries has been extensive. The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on healthcare systems and the supply chain, impacting business of all sizes, across every industry. During the height of the pandemic, nearly 25 percent of small businesses had to lay off or furlough workers. And 49% of mid-sized or large organizations considered layoffs and hiring freezes. But as organizations look to reopen, it’s key to think about how to bring workers back safely. These four internal communications strategies can be used to increase the likelihood of retaining employees:

  1. Be human when using technology. When reaching furloughed, remote, or deskless workers, you have to rely on technology to communicate. So, those messages that might be better shared face-to-face have to go digital. But we’ve seen time and time again these layoff announcements being done over digital channels that are so inhumane. It is possible to still deliver hard news on these channels, it just requires some planning.
  2. Make important information easy to find. Employees waste so much of their time trying to find the resources and information they need. This can seriously make employees frustrated and is an easy fix to help them feel better and improve productivity at the same time.
  3. Find ways to stay in touch. Culture is defined as “how we do things here.” So, no matter where employees work, they can and are active participants in culture. Finding ways to reach employees whether they are remote, in-office, or deskless is key.
  4. Ask employees what they need and want. It’s critical to not assume you know what your employee populations need. And understand that one-size will never fit all. PRO TIP: Make sure you include your deskless employees when you gather feedback!

And now, with the Great Resignation—or the Great Reshuffle—these internal communications strategies can also help you attract and retain talent.

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