Maintaining healthy internal communication has never been more important than it is today.
The last couple of months have turned many of us into remote workers. Others may have lost their jobs or had their wages cut.
Every day, workers around the globe are trying to cope with an increased amount of stress, and the general tension in society.
It’s only natural that in tough times like these, employees carry a lot of questions in their minds.
They seek clarity in these times of uncertainty. They seek understanding.
Regular team meetings, or all-company meetings (all-hands, town halls, AMAs), are a great opportunity for providing this.
Create a space for a meaningful two-way conversation between your employees and leaders. Build an open forum for your team to share their feelings and ideas. Foster connection.
Here are 9 ideas on how Slido will help you achieve that.
1. Anonymous Q&A: Create a safe space for your employees to ask questions
Run a transparent Q&A or Ask Me Anything session where your leaders open up to people’s questions. The best way to collect questions from your employees is via a live Q&A platform, where your team can submit their questions anonymously.
Anonymity allows people to be more open and ask more honest questions. Indeed, the questions may be tough. Prepare your leaders for that.
But hiding away from difficult questions isn’t a solution. The willingness to open up to people’s questions ultimately shows that your company cares about your people’s concerns and is ready to address them.
Here are a few tips to help you handle the difficult questions.
What’s also important is giving people enough time to think their questions through. Start collecting questions from your employees a few days before the Q&A session.
For example, we share a link to Slido with our teammates about a week before our all-hands meeting so they can start posting their questions. This also gives our executive team time to prepare answers.
Don’t forget to dedicate enough time to the Q&A. Don’t rush through it; answer as many questions as possible on the spot. If you get too many questions, here’s what you can do.
2. Pulse check: Ask your team members how they are
Let your employees know that you care about how they are and how they feel. Live polls will help you there.
For example, open your meeting with a word cloud poll: “In one word, how would you describe the past week/month?”
Or, try what we call a mood barometer. Ask your team to vote in a rating poll such as: “On a scale of 1-7, how are you feeling today?”
Not only will this give you an invaluable insight into the general atmosphere in the team, but you’ll also be able to open a conversation around any struggles that people are facing.
3. Share personal experiences, even anonymously
During difficult times like these, sharing personal experiences is a powerful way to build trust within a team and bond. Hearing others’ stories can really help people open up, and assure them that they’re not alone with their struggles.
For example, you can run an internal panel discussion with several volunteers sharing their stories, with a moderated discussion afterward. Or, you can organize online “roundtable” discussions of 5-6 people (+ facilitator), sharing their ideas on a certain topic. Feel free to get inspired by our own sharing session.
Also, don’t forget about those who are not comfortable with sharing openly. You can use Slido Ideas and encourage your employees to share their experiences in writing. They will be able to contribute to the discussion by submitting their stories into Slido either anonymously or with their name.
4. Get your team’s buy-in
If the current crisis forced you to make changes in strategy, OKRs, or everyday operations, check how your team understands and perceives these changes.
They may be confused and struggle with adapting to the new normal so it’s good to make sure your team’s all aligned.
You can leverage live polls here too. Try a rating poll such as: “On a scale of 1-5, how well do you understand the new Marketing OKRs?” or, “To what extent do you identify with our new company strategy?”
For even better results, collect more elaborate insights from your team via an open text poll where they can jot down their opinions and concerns – it will help you uncover any unclarities.
5. Celebrate people and their achievements
Everybody needs a little morale booster now and then, especially when times are hard. Celebrate your heroes and acknowledge all the great work they’ve done in the past month or quarter.
Try ‘Silent hero’ activity. Using a word cloud poll, let people submit the name of someone who went above and beyond. Combine it with an open text poll, so they can write a nice comment about the person as well.
Or, tell people to submit their professional or personal highlights into an open text poll. To make it most impactful, display people’s submissions on the screen for everyone to see and let the meeting leader/facilitator give a public shout-out to them.
6. Involve everyone in the decision-making
Making a collective decision or coming to an agreement is not easy – especially when you’re meeting on a conference call. There’s friction, the discussion doesn’t flow, and it’s hard to collect opinions from everyone.
Simplify the process and collect input from all your team members through live polls. Use a simple Yes/No or A/B multiple choice poll to make a quick decision – this is a great alternative to ‘show of hands’.
7. Brainstorming: Collect your team’s suggestions and ideas
Tap into your team’s full potential and host a brainstorming session, where you think up new projects or team strategy. You can even run one online. Let your team brainstorm ideas together, discuss them, and submit them into Slido.
Having everything in one place allows your team to go through all submissions and upvote the ones they like until the best ideas end up on top.
You can leverage Slido Ideas as your virtual suggestion box as well. For example, ask your colleagues: “What can our company do to improve the remote experience?” and encourage them to submit their suggestions.
8. Lift people’s spirits up with a quiz
A friendly quiz is a great way to energize your team. You’ll be able to socialize and enjoy a well-deserved laugh together. Besides, who doesn’t like a bit of competition, right?
You can run a short quiz as a treat at the start or the end of your meeting – whether it is your regular monthly team meeting or all-company meetings like all-hands or town halls.
You can even turn your company stats and numbers into a quiz. Or, collect your company/team trivia and create your own company knowledge quiz. Add in fun facts about your colleagues, or the history of your company, and enjoy a quality time spent together.
9. Collect feedback from your employees
Feedback from your employees is one of your most important assets.
Send a feedback survey after each larger meeting (all-hands meetings, town halls) to collect insights from your team about what they found valuable, and what could be improved, and collect their suggestions.
Also, don’t forget to take regular pulse checks and send out monthly/quarterly employee satisfaction surveys.
Thanks to timely feedback from your employees, you can take action and co-create a better working environment for everybody.
Over to you
Have you tried any of the trust-building techniques already? If so, hopefully, the above tips have given you more ideas as to how to keep supporting your team during these difficult times and create an open work environment where people can thrive.
At Slido, we’re ready to help your company achieve that.
Contact us or schedule a demo with us below and we’ll be happy to find the best solution for you.