How to Successfully Telecommute when Working from Home
By the Executive Service Corps (ESC) | Published May 2020
With many of our stakeholders using their bandwidth on trying to make ends meet and maintaining their mental and physical health, getting their attention and support can be a challenge. Here are some ways that help:
Consider Your Team’s Take
Ask your team what organization they’ve engaged with since the pandemic. What inspired them to give that organization their attention? What did they enjoy? What didn’t they? Let that get the creative juices flowing.
Now more than ever people are looking for good news. This is a great time to share your triumphs and sense of humor with your stakeholders. Put a smile on their faces and you’ll increase traffic and traction.
Prior to posting anything on your social media platforms, search for the most popular hashtags related to the topic. Frequently topic key works are surprising or not predictable.
Without impeding your progress, try to measure your impact and share it. By showing yourstakeholders your results, they will better understand your programs and their purpose.
Acknowledge the very real challenges your stakeholders face with compassion and a listening ear. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for engagement. Instead invite people in at their current level of ability with the knowledge that their additional engagement will be welcomed whenever they are able. Keep communications short, clear, not too frequent, and useful.
Encourage video conference participants to turn off their camera whenever they want, including when they are speaking, if they need to for their mental health. Staring at a field of faces can be overwhelming in normal times but particularly so now. Understand that we all came into this pandemic with different challenges already in place. Pre-existing stressors are exasperated by the pandemic. Allowing video meeting attendees to engage at a level that works for them at the moment is a simple way to bring compassion to your stakeholders and community.
If a stakeholder establishes the need for a boundary in your communication, respect it. By immediately observing any boundary set, you maintain a relationship of respect.
Prior to including any information about COVID19 in communications, verify that your content is consistent with World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and state and municipality recommendations. Social media companies reserve the right to flag, hide, delete, demonetize, and de-platform content and content providers that provide the most inaccurate or misleading information about the pandemic.
Prior to sending out communications to stakeholders, ask at least one person to review the content and provide feedback. Frequently things like imagines (? I don't understand) can be interpreted in dramatically different ways. Getting a second or third opinion from the audience can ensure clarity and prevent retractions and apologies.
Pay attention to what works with your stakeholders. Simple and free tools such as Google Analytics, social media platform data, and electronic newsletter platform data can show you what works and what doesn’t. Then take your knowledge and create better communication to engage with your stakeholders. The skills you learn to strength stakeholder engagement now will benefit you and your organization long after the pandemic is over.
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