en

Services

The UK's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient talent solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
Jobs

Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the most esteemed organisations in the UK, as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs
Candidates

Together, we’ll map out career-defining, life-changing pathways to achieve your career ambitions. Browse our range of services, advice, and resources.

Learn more
Services

The UK's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient talent solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
About Robert Walters UK

Since our establishment in 1985, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters UK

Learn more

Dos and don'ts for high-impact management communications

How can business leaders adapt the way they communicate with their remote working teams to have more impact? 

We asked Annie Slowgrove, founder and CEO of executive coaching consultancy Fearless Engagement, about how to effectively lead and motivate employees when everyone is working remotely.

For business leaders, communication with their teams is more important now that it has ever been. Staying in touch with your employees, direct reports and colleagues is allowing us to keep our businesses operating, while reminding us all that we’re not alone – we’re in this together.

Be empathetic to the human cost of this crisis. First and foremost, our economy will recover, but our people may not! As leaders, they’re going to need our support and understanding. Communicate the challenge with transparency and optimism, conveying empathy for how people may feel.

Remember that in any kind of crisis, let alone one like this, change disrupts people’s expectations of their future. It unsettles their dreams and plans, reducing their sense of control. On average, the mental noise we each experience reduces our ability to process information by 80%, meaning that,. under stress, people have difficulty hearing, understanding and recalling information. So, be empathetic and supportive. 

Dos and don'ts for high-impact management communications

Dos

Keep messages concise and clear. Despite 30-minute virtual town hall meetings, or the email updates explaining all the ins-and-outs of your company’s response to the virus, maybe you aren’t breaking through the noise. So, keep the messages clear and concise, and think about using graphics, visual aids, analogies and personal anecdotes, which can improve processing by more than 50%.

  • Be transparent and frequent with your updates. Let transparency pervade your intentions, direction, actions, communications, feedback and problem solving. It will reap rewards beyond what you thought possible. If not, you will destroy future trust and loyalty, not to mention performance.
  • Be led by your values. Transparency is your ‘first job’ in any crisis. Be clear what you know, what you don’t know, and what you are doing to learn more.  This is a constant and consistent message that needs reinforcing through the network of teams you create.
  • Act with purposeful integrity through thoughtful, frequent communication. Show that you are following the situation and adjusting your responses as you learn more. This helps to reassure employees that you are confronting the crisis and thinking about them as you use thoughtful language of emotion and stability, being there for them, leading them towards a safe and more stable future.
  • Take great care to make sure that each audience’s concerns, questions, and interests are addressed. If this isn’t possible at the time, it’s crucial to follow up and signpost when it will be possible. Consider having some of your network team members speak first-hand about what they are doing.


Don'ts

  • Do not take an overconfident, upbeat tone in the early stages of a crisis. This can give rise to employees’ suspicions about what leaders know and how well they are handling the crisis. It can erode trust. 
  • Do not hold back important information or suspend announcements for long stretches while you wait for more facts to emerge and decisions to be made. This also erodes trust, confidence and respect. If you fail to tell the truth at the time, this confuses people and is seen as deceitful. 
  • Do not beat around the bush. If it’s not the whole truth, if it’s vague and requires preparation and too much word-smithing, if you need to remember the details to ensure that you don’t change your story in the retelling, your are probably telling a lie. This may be unintended, but all the same, it has the impact of eroding trust.
  • Don’t be inconsistent. Do what you say you will do, every time, all the time, without exception. If you can’t for some reason, tell your people why!


As you look to the future, begin adapting communications towards offering an optimistic and realistic outlook. This can have a powerful effect on employees, inspiring them to support the organisation’s recovery.  

The critical things your overall communication style need during any crisis are transparency, purposeful calmness, overt optimism with an ear on reality, and positive message of unity: “we will get through this; together.”  

Share this article

Useful links

Sign up for job alerts
Salary Survey
Career Advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View all

Five tips to become a Partner by 35

Despite being more afflicted by economic and political uncertainty over the last decade, partnership at a law firm is still very much an attainable goal for millennial legal professionals wanting to forge a long and illustrious career in the sector. Are you a hard-working aspirational lawyer looking

Read More

Legal In-House Roles: 6 Questions To Ask At Interview

In this article, we speak to Bryn Thomas (solicitor and independent legal consultant with many years’ experience as an in-house lawyer) on the importance of the questions you at interview with 6 examples to maximise your impact on potential employers. "Candidates’ questions will indicate to the inte

Read More

5 expert tips for your next accounting job interview

Are you looking to make your next move in the accountancy industry? We’ve asked our accountancy and finance recruitment experts for their top tips to help you shine in your next interview… If you’re looking to land your next accountancy role, preparing for your next interview can be a daunting proce

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.