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Things have changed …

It seems highly likely that future generations will refer to “work before Covid” and “work after Covid” when describing the employment landscape in the early 21st century.  As we move into a new phase of living with the virus, there is a marked difference in how employees view their roles, their employers and their expectations surrounding their jobs.

One unmistakable fact is that employees want clear communication. A Harvard Business Review study found that, in the wake of the pandemic, more than 90% of employees said they wanted at least weekly communication from their company. The situation is no different in South Africa. “ICSC was inundated with requests from our clients for assistance with communication at the onset of the pandemic and also in the months that followed. With most staff members working from home, it was imperative for management to engage with them frequently and effectively,” says ICSC founder Ilse Cilliers.

 However, good communication isn’t a simple task. Despite more technology being available than ever before, businesses are struggling to communicate effectively. While 89% of respondents polled by said they believed that effective communication is extremely important, only 17% said their own business’ communication is excellent. “Communicating with employees isn’t as easy as sending a group e-mail and hoping for the best. If you want your communication to be successful, you must follow a well-planned strategy, where elements of communication are carefully thought through and optimally timed and delivered,” says Ilse.

Here are just a few things that have changed in today’s workplace and how your communication should adapt to these changes.

  • Remote working means that employees have different needs. When Prudential polled remote employees in the US in 2021, respondents listed their top requirements from their employers as offering remote work resources, updating policies to reflect the way work has changed (e.g. no-meetings days) and increasing communication from leaders. When there’s no conversation at tea break or around the water cooler, you have to do more to keep employees in the loop.
  • Employees need a reason to stay. Recent research conducted among over 600 businesses with between 50 and 500 employees found that 63.3% of companies say retaining employeesis actually harder than hiring them. (Zenefits) “The current employment landscape has been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ due to the high numbers of employees leaving their jobs. If you want to make them stay, then you have to foster a great company culture that aligns with their personal values. Communication is key to sustaining and elaborating on this culture,” adds Ilse.
  • Video has become a vital element of any communications portfolio. When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 73% of respondents said they’d prefer to watch a short video (Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing survey report for 2022). “The situation is no different for employees. A short video clip with a message from management to employees can make a world of difference in inspiring confidence and enthusiasm. Many of our clients have used video very effectively to engage with their employees,” she says.

We’re here to help

ICSC is optimally positioned to help you communicate effectively in this new era. Get in touch with us at or 083 633 3943 to bring your internal communication up to date with today’s needs.

UP NEXT: Our next blog in this series will explore the cost of poor communication, and how to fix it.