The pandemic shook shit up – no joke. Peoples lives were changed for ever, and in the main, not in a positive way. Speaking of the professional world we thrown into an ever evolving landscape of remote work, distributed teams, uncertainty and a fair amount of perceived and genuine isolation.
The working world has now begun to return to some level of pre pandemic normality but for MOHARA we are still highly flexible in our working locations and environment.
As a business located in North America, Africa, Europe and South East Asia being distributed is in our DNA but with centralised hubs in those regions. We encourage togetherness in a space, but do not force it. We think getting together is good for the soul and our culture but we will never be a 5 day a week in the office type business again, unless our teams want to of course.
I am totally comfortable with that.
When 2020 hit and we were faced with next level uncertainty. I, as CEO alongside our senior leadership, how to communicate the ever changing landscape to our teams and give some comfort and security as we were navigating through this new reality.
Our approach was to beef up our already present bi monthly All Hands and solidify its agenda. In addition we created a new channel of communication where I recorded a video to camera to directly speak to the state of the play within the organisation, our financial status, our thoughts on the market, job security, market outlook and what our strategies were each and every week.
We named this segment after the bastard itself in COVID. And then the episode number for each week. We changed the name once we were through the worst of it and rather amusingly (in a sort of dark way) the last COVID communiqué was COVID_19.
For what would have been COVID_20, we switched the name to MOHARA_Massive – a term I thought appropriate for information for the whole organisation, that being *our massive*.
You may be thinking, what is with the long intro? Get me to the tips. The reason for the story is a very important one. Whenever you are communicating to your teams, you need to understand your why and clearly your reasoning. You must have a purpose. And a clear one. Our purpose was clear.
Last week I delivered MOHARA_Massive_152 which puts us at nearly three years of our Massive and I thought that I have learnt a thing or two. Let’s share what I have learnt.
Tip 1 – Be consistent
There are many books out there that speak to habits. So I won’t repeat those to much. I will simply say that if you are going to start a new channel of communication with your team firstly explain why. Your team will want to understand your reasoning.
Then think about the format and the medium. I chose video as I feel I am better on camera than I am a writer. Writing has never been something I have been good at nor really enjoyed. I have always felt more comfortable talking to a camera.
I release every Friday morning without fail – even if I am holiday. My videos are under 5 minutes (any longer and I’d lose my audience).
- Intro sequence with banging tunes
- Good news intro
- News from the business – stories, experiences
- Initiatives update – internal and external
- Project updates where appropriate
- Growth update – Fresh as a Daisy opportunities into the organisation
- Thank you and sign off
- Outro sequence with more banging tunes (our playlist: MOHARA_Massive)
Tip 2 – Involve your team
Within our in All Hands and Massive segments we are inclusive. Whilst I do the lion share of the delivery it is collaborative. Whether you realise it or not, you run a people business, therefore involve people. Have fun with it, call out excellence, courage, success, struggles, togetherness and say thank you.
When I distribute MOHARA_Massive to the organisation on Slack I make sure I mention relevant people in the post. Bring them in.
Tip 3 – What you say matters
I learnt this fairly on in my entrepreneurial career and it is something I never want to lose sight off. I had promised a lot and didn’t always deliver in the early days. What you say matters when you are in a position of leadership. Think about your audience, how you will be interpreted and plan your communications carefully. I am not saying be afraid and not bold, but be aware you will have impact.
Tip 4 – Listen to your team and evolve
When I started with the COVID 1-19 videos we had a very time appropriate agenda. This evolved into an early Massive agenda with less focus on the pandemic than to the current agenda above.
As your organisation grows and changes you have to evolve with it. Listen to feedback, ask questions about what is valued information and what people what to hear more about.
Our Fresh as a Daisy section towards the end of the current Massive agenda is in response to the team wanting to hear more about new opportunities we are looking at each week. We may not end up working with these founders or businesses, but the team like to hear about the conversations MOHARA is in and what products and startups we could be building.
Tip 5 – Be yourself and show your personality
This is harder and maybe more uncomfortable than you may realise. Once you have selected your medium of delivery you will want to develop a style and consistency.
Authenticity is the key here, I can guarantee you it will help deliver the these important messages with the weight they deserve.
My advice is to be genuine and show your personality. Find your voice. Be human. Be real.
MOHARA_Massive as become an integrated part of our internal communications toolkit and one that has delivered countless important messages and announcements to our distributed teams over the recent years.
I hope you found this short list of tips helpful as you look to add to your internal communication repertoire.