Let’s face it we’re all ready for a bit of positivity. In the UK we’ve been under ‘lockdown’ for quite some time and for some it’s been much longer. Many of our colleagues are trying to juggle family life as well as trying to make sense of what’s happening around them. The news is full of depressing stories, and comms in organisations has been very much reactive, with focus on Covid19 – understandably.
It’s not about belittling what’s happening around us, but we need to think about bringing some balance back and start sharing some good news across our organisation to help build morale and engagement.
We don’t know how long this pandemic will last for or what it really means for the future. But what we do know is that mental health issues are on the rise and if we map against the Kubër-Ross Change model, this would mean people are sitting quite firmly in the depression phase. To shift people into experiment and decision phase we are going to have to bring back some hope. Below are three quick, simple but effective ideas that will get some positivity flowing amongst colleagues
- Encourage good news sharing. With most people working in isolation from home it’s highly likely general office chitchat has ceased. Look at creating some space on an internal social network where colleagues can come and read some good news from around the company (even from outside the org). So it’s not too much pressure on you, try to encourage colleagues to share updates themselves. Ask them to answer a couple of questions, what’s brought you joy today? What’s been your highlight from the week? to get the conversation started. You’ll be surprised how quickly people start sharing their own good news. Try to encourage people managers to comment and write their positive updates as well. If you don’t have an internal social network then ask colleagues to email in their updates or even a selfie-video. You can then use this and create montage or a presentation to share. A weekly roundup would work well as well, mixed with company updates.
- Recognition and appreciation. I mentioned this in a previous blog but make sure you continue to do some recognition. It can be anything from a colleague who has completed a project, a long service award or a team that has received excellent customer feedback. Also, encourage colleagues to send each other words of encouragement and support. You could create some e-thank you cards that people could send to each other or they could even a hand-write a note, which they can photograph and email it across – it can make a massive difference to someone’s day.
- Leader highlights. Encourage a senior leader in the business to do a highlight video once a week by sharing a round-up of some good news stories from across the organisation. It doesn’t need to be only the CEO; each exec could take turns. It’ll help raise leadership visibility and help build trust across the business. Colleagues also tend to shadow the leader so it’s highly likely others will follow suit within their own internal network and morale will start shifting.
If you have any more tips or you’ve introduced something that’s worked well in your organisation, then please do share via my LinkedIn page or over on twitter @advita_p.