July 21, 2020
With the advent of the pandemic, countless forms of interaction between individuals, and in fact entire societies, disappeared almost entirely overnight. Normal activities such as face-to-face communication between organizational colleagues, along with direct interaction between staff members and the public were swiftly replaced with physically distant forms of communication, manifesting primarily in the forms of cell phone usage and video conferencing. Reliable and effective channels of communication built over decades, instantly became inadequate for the new ways in which employees were required to conduct the affairs of their organization. In this post, we will outline some of the challenges of communicating in a post-pandemic world, along with some suggestions on how to ensure effective, reliable communication will still remain a cornerstone of a successful organization.
Missing the Old Cues
Whether many realized it or not, up until very recently individuals and groups relied on certain cues such as visual eye contact, body language, and other subtle cues to help them perceive true meaning when communicating with others. Virtually all organizations heavily relied upon face-to-face interaction as a communication channel, both within their organization and with clients and vendors. Many employees spent virtually all of their working hours interacting directly with customers. When it was necessary to communicate with management or other co-workers, their interaction was in the form of face-to-face communication with them as well.
Now many companies have severely restricted or completely eliminated in-person communication, leaving staff members with few alternatives to convey vital work-related material to others. Interaction is limited to phone conversations, or by way of a chat feature or video conferencing app, where subtle communication cues are often overlooked or misconstrued.
The Necessity of Recording
Now more than ever, it’s important for organizations to establish protocols for capturing vital communication within their organization. With face-to-face interaction gone for the foreseeable future, companies must turn to other forms of communication that will support their efforts to produce meaningful work that is reliable and accurate. By establishing protocols on how to use, organize, and store written/visual forms of communication such as emails, shared spreadsheets, documents, photos, screen captures, etc., along with creating auditory records of meetings that now take place either by phone or video conferencing, staff members will have created the necessary resources when additional clarification is needed.
If you would like to know more on how to approach the task of successful communication in a post-pandemic world, please contact us.