Have you adjusted any of your communication strategies to support the retention of your remote workforce?

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Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
If someone's not having a good day, we used to have the opportunity to go back and talk to them. Some of my managers and team leaders say that if they observe these things on Zoom and they are concerned and want to be more empathic, then they’ll reach out to those people but they abandon any corporate interaction device—no email, no slack or other instant messaging. They actually just text or pick up the phone and call the person. Imagine that: We're going back to picking up the phone and calling someone to see how they are.

As we're living in this digital space, we're going a little retro to get that comforting feeling of reaching out to people to say, “This is a safe space. It's not monitored by our corporate overlords. I am trying to make a personal connection.” It comes across as much more encouraging and impactful to some people.
SVP in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
There's a cultural and generational element that we need to be aware of. A lot of people that are entering the workforce now are used to this model of communication, which is different from the in-person socializing that most of us have been used to for a long time. For the new generation, socializing over digital media is the norm. As I work with some of the newer generation, I'm seeing that they're very comfortable in that setting.

There's a pilot being built that will roll out internally as a test for us, which will provide ice breakers for teams. People will be able to ping some random person within the organization and do an ice breaker to get to know them. It’s a pretty cool concept and people will be able to opt in or out of it.

There's creativity around these types of things. And while it might be hard for us to get the hang of it, or it might take us a little bit longer, there's also a group of people who think it's the best thing in the world. It's interesting to see the dynamics in transition. In 20 years are we going to talk about these same problems and challenges? Probably not. Or we probably will, but in a different context.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We've struggled with communication to students in both of the institutions I've been at. Across the board, nobody reads email anymore. And if you told some organizations that email was going away and all you had to communicate was Slack and Microsoft Teams, they'd love it but others wouldn’t accept that. We've even toyed with the question of whether we could realistically communicate important information to students via Snapchat or TikTok. The answer is likely no, but the question remains, do you meet people where they are?

I was doing a tech orientation session a couple of years ago and said that we're using Microsoft Office 365. The students said, “Microsoft sucks, why can't we use Google?” because that’s what they grew up with. So, is there an argument to say, meet them where they are?
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Advisor | Investor | Former CIO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed

The argument is yes. Put it this way, and do this as an experiment: ask anybody in your organization, “What is your personal escalation process? What is the best way to reach out to you in priority? Will you look at email, will you look at texts, will you look at Slack?” I did this when I kicked off at AWS. I had people tell me, “Email is the way to do it,” or, “I'm on Slack so don't text me.” It's all over the map. There's no rhyme or reason. Certain strategies will work for some and not for others. It's just the human element that you've got to understand.

I pride myself in what I did when I was on the ground. I always made a point of doing a walkabout. It was fantastic. And at lunch time I would just randomly pick somebody from the team to go to lunch and build that relationship. It was great but I can't do that now. I have to adapt and come up with different ways.


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