Communication in a post-pandemic workplace has changed due to the emotional state of employees, evolving safety issues, and increased responsibilities for managers. It is more important than ever to connect and engage with employees working remotely so that they feel connected, safe, and have a sense of certainty during unpredictable times.
One of the main objectives of any safety bulletin is to get the attention of readers and present the information in a way that makes recollection a simple part of a complex situation. It is important to keep the lines of communication between employees and management open so that employees can understand the changes being administered. Effective communication keeps employees productive and engaged, leading to sustainable benefits. There are three essential steps in the planning process for communicating effective change in the workplace.
- Decide what form of narrative is best for reaching a remote and widely dispersed team.
- Create content that captivates your audience and elicits engagement.
- Employ appropriate digital tools to aid effective distribution.
1. Decide what form of narrative is best for reaching a remote and widely distributed team.
Employees who have worked from home for extended periods are generally reluctant to return to an office environment. The post-pandemic world has created mounting challenges for management teams who must now navigate continual change and a remote workforce. A Deloitte study reveals that a lack of management visibility and support for remote employees results in a disconnected workforce, putting a company’s service delivery at risk. With remote working employees spread all over the world, companies face growing hurdles when it comes to providing information and instructions that are relevant to all parts of the organization. Existing and new employees may not understand the importance of their role concerning the overall health and safety culture of the organization. Producing and delivering a cohesive message for employees traveling or working remotely is becoming an increasingly difficult task.
EH&S bulletins are a great way for organizational leaders to engage their audience and raise awareness about risks and hazards in the workplace. Using EH&S bulletins to share important information can help employees feel more confident in knowing what expectations are in place in terms of safety practices at work, and what procedures to follow should they feel unsafe or unsure about any aspects of their work. EH&S bulletins can be a tool to create an environment where employees are empowered to take responsibility for their safety and health, as well as the safety and health of other staff members.
2. Write bulletins that captivate your audience and create engagement.
Bulletins should be kept short, as they are meant to reach a large audience with focused information. The key to creating engagement through bulletins is understanding the audience—knowing what types of messaging will elicit the most response and delivering those messages in a way that resonates with the intended audience. The following are 6 elements to include to help deliver messages more effectively and engage employees at a personal level.
- Message from leadership: Beginning with a message from the leadership team (the President, Chairman, or CEO) sets a tone of legitimacy for employees and displays that the initiatives conveyed within the bulletin have C-Suite support.
- Spotlight on a contribution: Highlighting the contributions of early adapters and change leaders in an organization creates a feeling of healthy competition, inspiring other employees to take initiatives to improve environmental health and safety (EH&S) within their departments and teams. It also serves as an opportunity to positively reinforce employees actively contributing to EH&S at work.
- Statistics and KPI: Present key performance indicators in a visually appealing format. Use an infographic to draw attention and make limited information more understandable.
- Incentives: Rewarding employees with an incentive (coffee gift cards, “employee of the month” award, etc.) for responding to the content can motivate participation. However, a clear “call to action” is essential to garnering a focused, appropriate response.
- Timing: Avoid diluting a message by repeating the same information and delivery too frequently. Interest in the message will wain with redundant bulletins. Additionally, allowing too much time to elapse between bulletins can convey a lack of urgency or commitment to the message.
3. Employ appropriate digital tools to aid the effective distribution of EH&S bulletins.
EH&S bulletins can be a great way to communicate important information to your employees, but they can also be a chore to write and distribute. Digital tools are much more efficient than traditional communication methods in completing this process, enabling automation of creation (with reusable and customizable templates) and distribution (scheduled/automated notifications).
Using an EH&S Bulletin Communication software empowers the delivery of effective management messages, announcements, and other communications to multiple groups of employees across different locations and/or departments. EH&S Bulletin Communications modules can provide a quick and efficient means of communicating reminders and other important documentation to remote and mobile workers. A robust, cloud based EH&S software platform ensures employees have immediate and secure access to whatever information they need, including bulletins broadcasting safety initiatives.
Demonstrating visible leadership and driving EH&S excellence within an organization is made possible by a greater understanding of three important components of communication:
- Form of Narrative
- Audience Engagement
- Digital Tools
An EH&S Bulletin Communications Module offers a fast, flexible, and cost-effective way to digitally communicate information for the management of an entire team (employees, contractors, and all other stakeholders). A powerful Bulletin Communications module (such as the one from SafetyStratus) is designed to address the difficulties in communication that commonly arise from employees working remotely, allowing individuals to receive key management and safety notifications in a timely and safe manner.
The SafetyStratus Research Advisory Group (RAG) brings together thought leaders from the global environmental, health, and safety community to promote best practices and provide key insights in the profession and the industries they serve. The Research Advisory Group also advocates, where practical, the intersection of and advances with the use of technology, such as the SafetyStratus enterprise EHS software platform. Group membership consists of representatives from across varied disciplines and market sectors as well as select members of the SafetyStratus team.
The primary objectives of the SafetyStratus RAG partnership are to:
- Build a strategic partnership between EHS practitioners and the SafetyStratus team.
- Provide engaging and practical content to the global EHS community.
- Provide discipline and market feedback specific to SafetyStratus products and services.
While the objectives of the RAG are varied, the primary public-facing outcome will be available through engaging and practical content found on the SafetyStratus resource pages. Various articles, papers, and other valuable resources will be produced and shared as part of an ongoing effort to cultivate a robust community. Ultimately, the SafetyStratus RAG will expand to have a broader reach and provide opportunities for more inclusion by all interested EHS professionals in a collaborative community environment.