Updated: Nov 23
Several companies that managed to maintain business continuity against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic attribute their success to pivoting their employee engagement along with public relations and organizational culture. While these characteristics are no innovation, the current crisis has highlighted its importance. Throw in some PR, and you have the perfect recipe for long-term success.
Let’s quickly go over the contribution of employee engagement, company culture, and PR in the present context:
Public relations post-COVID presented itself as an indispensable tool for building trust and brand loyalty amongst clients and employees. With events and traditional marketing channels off the table during the lockdown, public relations and corporate communication became business critical.
Internal PR added a layer of transparency in the business operations and helped employees stay updated on all the trends. Businesses could involve their workforce and educate them on all the health and safety measures that were in practice to protect their interests. It plays an instrumental role in engaging employees and developing company culture - the other pillars to sustain business continuity.
Subsequently, external PR helped engage the customers and to stay competitive in the market. Thus, when the world reverts to normalcy, your brand will still be at the top of your client’s mind.
According to an HBR study, the introduction of new technology or processes causes 38% of the workforce to become frustrated and disengaged. Amongst everything, remote working and digital transformation may have come as the biggest shock for employees.
As a result, training and onboarding of employees emerged as one of the first employee engagement strategies. It is an established fact that onboarding enhances employee engagement and helps retain talent by boosting productivity. Businesses also set up IT support teams to offer constant guidance and overcome challenges.
Most importantly, employee engagement activities revolved around building and developing synchronous and asynchronous channels of communication. Leaders could check on their team members, and employees could discuss professional and personal challenges. This open communication over collaborative platforms brought about cohesiveness throughout the organization irrespective of their location.
Businesses developed an “engage, protect, and inspire” model to reinforce company culture. Employee personal, mental, and financial wellbeing formed the focus of all employee engagement activities.
The WFH and remote working policies paired with job security helped drive home the idea that companies aim to protect their workforce. Thus, it laid the foundation for employee loyalty and higher productivity.
Sharing inspirational stories through PR helped build a positive company culture and build relationships. Businesses need to make employees feel like they are a part of something big, and that every contribution matters.
At the same time, leaders and managers had to put in extra effort to ensure that their internal communication and organizational culture were inclusive and all-encompassing, while respecting individuality.
Employee Engagement + Company Culture + PR = A Match Made in Corporate Heaven
As one can see from above, every aspect addressed different root causes that may have caused disruptions in the business. Through employee engagement strategies and building company culture virtually, organizations were successful in boosting employee satisfaction.
On the other hand, PR campaigns added visibility to the safety and security measures adopted by businesses. Resultantly, customers got the opportunity to connect with brands on a human level.
It becomes apparent that employee engagement and company culture are interdependent, and PR weaves them together. While combining the three may appear as a knee-jerk response to the current situation, it seems to be a winning strategy for businesses for the years to come!