Communication in the Workplace: 2021 Trends
Nothing creates change at a company quite like a crisis. And unfortunately, the pandemic has emphasized communication challenges that we’ve faced for some time—like reaching deskless workers. But the good thing about a crisis is that they are a huge catalyst for real, lasting change. The way we work, communicate, hire, and live is so different now than it was a year ago. Don’t let your company fall behind. To help, we wanted to share our predictions for 2021 communication in the workplace.
The Empathetic Leader
One of our favorite trends that we believe will continue beyond 2021 is the importance of the empathetic leader. With trust in “my employer” being one of the most trusted sources of information (Edelman) and CEOs being expected to speak out and lead change, we believe this trend is going to dominate the workplace. Expect to see more leaders involved in communication and speaking from a place of authenticity and transparency. And if your senior leaders aren’t doing this yet, show them why it matters to your employees.
The Rise of Mobile
Regardless of who you are trying to reach—frontline workers, newly remote employees, or even office workers—last year proved that we need better ways of communicating at work. Marketing Charts found that 8 in 10 digital minutes are being spent on mobile devices. Why not use that to your advantage? With over 3.8 billion people owning a smartphone worldwide, it’s a no brainer to look at a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model for communicating. And this will open up doors to use secure, mobile comms channels.
DEI is a Movement Not a Moment
Representation matters. Who you hire, matters. Who you give the microphone to, matters. Don’t let a focus on DEI be just a moment at your organization. Really live it. Embrace it. And don’t forget that this is one of the most important things you can focus on as a company. And this ties into our fourth trend.
Tap Into the Employee Voice
There is a wealth of knowledge, ideas, opinions, critical feedback, and stories in your employee population. Organizations that are willing and able to tap into the employee voice, to create feedback loops, and start focus groups, are going to succeed. Giving your employees a voice and making them feel heard is a huge secret to improving employee engagement, retention, and productivity. When you are able to share more voices, representing the diversity at your company, your people will feel more connected, and likely more understood.
Communication in the Workplace: Rebuilding Trust
No matter how you choose to communicate in the workplace this year, make sure you follow through. Whether you start a new pulse survey series or make promises about DEI, you better be prepared to act and deliver change. This is how you avoid survey fatigue and hurting morale. Although trust in “my employer” is stronger than other sources, the pandemic has still impacted employee trust in their employers. It is critical that you listen to your teams to figure out what they need, and work towards providing that for them.