There’s no two ways about it, the world feels heavy. And let’s face it, it has done for a few years now. But as HR and business leaders, how do you navigate this and ensure your PR and Communications strategy is supporting your business in a positive way? Victoria Haley, Co-Founder of HuHa PR, offers her expert advice.
Staff feel vulnerable, the news is heavy and rarely positive. As HR and business leaders you want to retain your valuable staff so that not only do you perform above market expectations, but when the bounce back comes, your loyal, informed team is ready to supersede expectations. So let’s look at where that focus should be.
Long term ambitions - The business might be experiencing some short term uncertainties, and even if it isn't, let’s not forget the bigger picture and share it with our teams. To be completely cliché, this storm will pass, so make sure your teams are being communicated with to this effect. They need to know they’re on the journey with you, what the end goal is and what the strategy is to get you all there. This builds loyalty and longevity, hugely valuable for a business of any size.
Face to face leadership - On the same theme as above, now is the time for leadership. They need to be visible and face your teams. If it’s not possible to do this in real life, organise regular online town halls for your teams to dial into and get updates from the executive team on how the business is performing. This will breed a culture of shared ownership and allow people within the business who are doing things well to be showcased and celebrated in front of their peers. In these meetings, make sure the executive team are referring back to the long term ambitions and strategy of the business. This reaffirms the focus of the business to the team and enables each person to understand their role within this, creating a more engaged and loyal team.
Internal communications - Another way to reiterate what’s going on in the company is to create an internal communications strategy. This could be a weekly or monthly newsletter that provides an update on the business, spotlights a particular department, shows off press coverage the business has featured in for example. But be sure to ensure it’s a mix of business news and more light hearted news, such as sporting achievements, new babies, charity fundraising etc.
Redundancies - No business wants to make people redundant, but if you do have to go through this process, make sure you’re communicating in a respectful way with your teams. The morale of the business will be low, so act accordingly and make sure those that are not being made redundant feel safe and secure so that they don’t dive for the job boards. You can do this by being open and communicative from leadership down. Perhaps create a Q & A session with the executive team and allow the team to send anonymous questions ahead of this to lead the discussion. This will encourage a two way conversation and a culture of transparency at a difficult time.
Showcase the business - Timing is obviously key for this and you shouldn’t necessarily be shouting about new business wins at the same time as you’re hacking teams, but when there is good business news, share it with the media. This will not only highlight your profile to other prospective business partners, but it will give your own teams a morale boost and allow them to share something positive on their social channels. It will give both business partners and your team's confidence in the business and get you known by the right people, for the right reasons.
Get in touch if want to find out more about how HuHa, can offer accountable PR that challenges perspectives and amplifies growth.