Fostering a Sense of Connection with “Socially Distanced” Employees

With all the separation caused by COVID-19, many employees are feeling disconnected from their work “family.” Now, more than ever, employee communications are crucial for disseminating important information.

People are hungry for reliable news and information. A recent Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report found that “employee communications” are the most credible source of coronavirus (COVID-19) information – more so than the media or the government.

But there is something just as essential as providing credible information in order to maintain a strong bond with employees.

It’s providing a sense of connection.

It’s critically important to take steps to ensure that the bonds between employer and employees don’t begin to loosen and fray. Being separated from their “work family,” combined with social distancing, means that many in your workforce are feeling isolated and possibly overwhelmed with fear, uncertainty and cabin-fever as the pandemic plays out.

It is now more vital than ever to consistently communicate with your employees and avoid the temptation to lapse into infrequent contact. History has repeatedly shown that businesses that maintain rather than reduce their marketing efforts during recessions surge ahead of the competition when the dust settles. In the same way, companies that continue or even bolster their employee communications during tough times like this will come out the other end with a more engaged and loyal workforce.

How do you help pull your company together while many of your employees are forced to stay apart?

These days, there are many ways to communicate with employees. An email, a company app or even a text can be fantastic options for quickly disseminating timely or urgent news. However, these forms of communication are not ideal for promoting deeper connections between an employee, their employer and their fellow workers.

If you’re looking to foster a connection between separated employees, look no further than the tried-and-true employee newsletter.

A properly executed employee newsletter is uniquely qualified to provide a deep sense of connection because of its natural depth and breadth. This longer-form communication allows your “distanced” workforce to read through more substantial stories and information about the company and, most importantly, their workplace family.

Employee newsletters have always been invaluable tools for employee connection and engagement, and the current environment only amplifies their value.

The employee who is physically cut off from coworkers and experiencing isolation can’t help but feel a part of the team when reading about company updates, employee spotlights, anniversaries, milestones, health and benefits updates, and other news and topics. For a comprehensive list of topics that promote connection and that employees enjoy reading about, check out “20 Employee Newsletter Best Practices That Increase Employee Engagement.” During times of crisis, you can also add relevant articles to support their well-being.

Your employees may not remember what you say or do, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.

Chances are your workforce is feeling anxious, fearful and somewhat isolated. Most of us are. You can help reduce some of that fear by regularly disseminating vital information. But you can also help alleviate feelings of anxiousness and isolation through consistent employee communications that provide a sense of connection, remind them that they truly are part of a team, and that they are valued.

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Posted in Employee Publications, Newsletters / Magazines.

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