3 COVID Communication Challenges You Must Address Right Now
By now, most of us have realized that staying in touch with your team in the age of coronavirus is even more difficult than we initially thought. Along with disrupting our lives and routines, COVID-19 introduced a lot of disruption to businesses as well. Adding to that, the nature of work overall has changed. For instance, no matter your industry, even if you’re working with fewer people daily, keeping track of group communication can become more difficult to manage. More than that, with increased safety and social distancing measures in place, your team might be even more spread out, thereby making it harder to consistently stay in touch.
An article in Harvard Business Review published in July titled 5 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis, offered key takeaways for communicating with your team in times of high stress. The top tip? Communicate frequently. In the article it said “Most leaders need to communicate to staff far more often than they think is necessary. Frequent communication reduces fear and uncertainty and ensures that employees have heard the message.” There was also another interesting tidbit of note, rather than a one and done approach, “While leaders may experience fatigue from repeating core messages, they need to realize team members need to hear these messages multiple times.” So, choosing a foolproof method of communication means that you’ll be able to create a nearly effortless flow of messaging even during incredibly stressful moments.
Most of us have faced our own stressful work moments over the past few months, more so in the food service, facilities management and hospitality industries. But just because it’s tougher to stay in touch, doesn’t mean you get to simply cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Smarter communication saves lives
Wade Williams, Director of Special Events at Picnic Inc. manages events for high-profile luxury brands. He also works with catering and food service teams around the country, so at the best of times he’s constantly trying to find new ways to streamline his communication process. When the pandemic hit, Williams entire workflow and process changed completely. “Covid-19 has made our industry re-examine the standards and practices of guest interaction.” Adding to that, Williams and his team had to learn an entirely new way of managing food and beverage safety across the board. “Since we have so many restrictions, communication is now vital,” Williams added. In fact, right now Williams admits that communication is “a component, which could potentially save lives.”
Beyond old-school walkie talkies
If you’ve been facing your own COVID challenges, you know that every single working day potentially brings with it new and unexpected issues. Adding to that, many companies are trying to figure out a walkie talkie alternative to take their team beyond old-school Nextel to something lighter, newer, better, and faster. A bonus of course would mean a walkie solution that’s reliable, affordable and easy to use. We’ve got you covered with Relay Plus, a cellular walkie talkie system that helps you overcome the daily challenges of distanced communication and specializes in keeping your team connected.
“More people are working together apart than ever before and it’s crucial to provide the best possible communications options and overall experience than ever before.”
Still need some convincing? We discovered 3 main challenges many companies are facing when managing their day to day communication, and came up with some easy to implement solutions:
1. Distanced communication has surged: With more people working remotely and in different locations the need for keeping in touch no matter where you are is crucial. It also increasingly means that a traditional walkie talkie won’t cut it with either range or flexibility. As the General Manager of Pocono Palace Resort in Marshalls Creek, PA Janice Goren oversees all operations “across every single square inch of property.” Goren also works closely with department managers and supervisors “to ensure each facet of the guest experience is running smoothly, as communication is key in managing such a large resort with so many amenities and features.” And while Goren is vigilant about creating a seamless communications plan, she also keeps budget in mind at all times. Topping her list though is creating the best possible experience for guests while keeping her team in constant touch. “We are always exploring new options for better equipment that also meets our budgets. We are committed to whatever allows us to best do our jobs and give our guests the best experience.”
2. More work, fewer resources: Despite the fact that most states are opening up more businesses, dramatic shifts in employment means in many industries there’s much more work to coordinate between a smaller group of people. Smart managers have to prepare for the unplanned and keep an open line of communications at all times. But it’s almost a vicious cycle of needing better equipment to help smaller staffs do more work while not having time to properly research better options. Williams said that he and his team “are always looking for alternatives to walkie-talkies.” As for those walkies, “They are so dated, and I have yet to find the perfect equipment. Many of them are too cumbersome and not light enough.” Topping Williams’ wish list “Our ideal way to communicate at an event, would be to have our cell phones act as walkie talkies.”
3. Change in operations: Getting back to business means understanding that all the rules have changed…and will probably keep changing for the foreseeable future. Being nimble and able to understand that new procedures and processes are required to get back to business is crucial while new and flexible tools are required to support all these changes. “We continue to work just as hard and efficiently and find ways to adapt,” Goren said. And she and her team are proactive about creating a results-driven workplace. “We don’t wait for solutions; we simply find the solutions necessary to make sure we complete the task at hand. If we have to stay on top of each other with more phone calls, e-mails, or walk-talkies, we’ll do it however necessary.” And while for some a classic mobile phone could work, many workplaces realize that a screen provides extra distraction when living and working through a global pandemic has made all of us realize there isn’t room for mistakes.
Bottom line: More people are working together apart than ever before and it’s crucial to provide the best possible communications options and overall experience than ever before. You need new tools to solve these challenges and we have them. Relay anticipated a shift in work communications style and already has the network and products to make switching effortless and easy.
Relay also created a guide to COVID Solutions to help you understand why Relay products are the ideal solution for communications during coronavirus and beyond.
Ready to buy? The Relay product overview walks you through the product and how it best serves active teams.