As a globalised civilisation we were seemingly completely unprepared for the occurrence of a pandemic. The failure of leadership which helped the coronavirus proliferate has caused a day of economic reckoning and restructuring which will fundamentally change the contexts in which we all live. What are the career consequences of this for internal communicators as the curtain falls on significant parts of the old world we once knew?
Internal communicators can no longer continue dealing with the workplace impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak with a reactive crisis communications approach and tactics. What we are now dealing with is the mother of all change situations. With no internal communication precedents for dealing with the longer-term workplace impacts and fallout of a pandemic on this scale, the future is an undiscovered country for all of us.
For employees, understanding organisational change can sometimes be like completing a self assembly project with no clear instructions or picture of the finished product. Internal communicators need to explain change themes not projects, use time travel to help leaders mind their language, and become great storytellers to enable employees to avoid the flat packed confusion.
When faced with extreme change and uncertainty it’s tempting to batten down the hatches, communicate as little as possible and hope that the perfect storm blows over. Unfortunately, saying nothing is rarely an option during times of change and to fail to plan a communications response is a plan to fail outright. The big question is, how do you plan to communicate when there is so much uncertainty and so many unknowns?