HUMANS ARE AWESOME
Written by: Hanadi El Sayyed
The missing link between HR and Communications functions in organizations, exposed by the COVID-19 crisis, is calling out organizations to reassess the distant relationship between both functions and to transform it into a close collaboration and fast.
In the short term, the partnership between HR and Communications will be essential to navigating the enormous uncertainty and ambiguity this crisis is sprawling with while preparing to jumpstart the organization and its employees into the new world post the pandemic.
In the long term, strengthening this bond will support companies, irrespective of their size, to propagate employer brand, cement the organizational core values, align employees with shared purpose and common goals, enhance employee engagement, improve productivity, and increase organization’s readiness to manage future crises. This effort will rapidly convert into the valuable currency of employee advocacy, the ultimate reward any organization aspires for.
That’s how strategic this relationship can and must become.
The COVID-19 crisis revealed that the challenges facing today´s organization leaders will be much more strongly related to communications going forward. It is ripe time for HR and communications to see the opportunity and join forces to build, grow, and sustain communicative organizations.
More than ever, leaders are required to lead by sustaining core values, reinforcing (and even in some companies re-building) trust with their people, creating alignment with the organization’s shared purpose, and mobilizing resources and employees towards common goals. It is no longer a differentiator of great companies or best organizational cultures. It is essential and a vital role of every leader today to build effective teams, ensure a common understanding of the company’s vision and business strategy, and promote a strong performance culture that drives towards achieving common objectives. Communicative leadership must become a core organizational competency.
Communicative organizations with communicative leadership make the new organization breed we will see dominating the scene post COVID-19. These organizations have communication embedded in their internal and external strategy. Internally, the inherent culture is that communication is a prerequisite for the organization’s existence, its ability to achieve goals, and realize success. This mindset is at the core of its philosophy and values.
This new type of organization spells a new world for HR and with it, new challenges, opportunities and responsibilities for HR leaders.
From talent attraction and acquisition to talent management and employee engagement, anything HR does or will do, strategic or tactical, communication becomes an essential ingredient of the recipe. For example, managers and employees will be recruited for communicative competence as one of the core requirements and go on to take core responsibility for communication when they become part of the organization. In this case, this will entail HR revisiting the roles in the organization and articulating the required communicative competence; putting systems in place to enable managers become communicative leaders themselves; and of course measuring for effectiveness by creating necessary linkages to performance management, employee wellness and engagement, and organizational health, This is a mammoth task by any measure and any attempt to take this bull by the horn in isolation from Communications is unrealistic.
Similarly, the communications professionals, experts, and industry analysts in the organization must become HR’s partners to drive and shape the overall organization’s internal communicational development.
When expert communicators join forces with specialists in human behavior, they multiply both their impact. The organization, its leadership, and the people win.
Hanadi El Sayyed