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Using Communication to Create a Culture of Growth

COVID-19 has completely rewritten the script of daily life both in the short- and long-term. In the present, companies must discover how to successfully conduct business throughout the rest of 2020. However, they must balance dealing with these immediate pressures with addressing long-term uncertainty as well.

One of the areas where both current pressures and long-term functionality collide is with internal company communication. Many of the bedrock factors of a successful business — especially the challenge of maintaining a growth mindset — can only be sustained if solid communication is in place.

The Importance of a Growth-Mindset

Company culture is particularly in danger of suffering from the new "post-coronavirus normal." This is due to the fact that individuals are fanning out into isolated workspaces and only coalescing into a single employed "unit" when they meet over a video chat or send a message on Slack. This can make it difficult to maintain morale and keep everyone both on the same page and focused on the correct goals.

One of the key ways to combat the challenges of a dispersed workforce is by cultivating a growth mindset within your virtual workspace. A growth mindset simply consists of the belief in and willingness to continually adapt, change, and grow. It was already an important tool in the modern workforce before COVID-19 was ever a concern.

For instance, tech was already significantly impacting the e-commerce world in the months before the coronavirus showed up on the scene. New tech, like artificial intelligence, chatbots, and voice assistants, was already poised to keep businesses busy as they perpetually adapted to new changes. After the coronavirus struck, companies far and wide found themselves faced with even more technological challenges as they attempted to go 100% remote with both external and internal operations — often all in a matter of days.

How to Use Communication to Lead to a Growth Mindset

As companies have continued to adapt to the changes of a remote-work-focused world, it's become essential that leaders communicate these changes with their staff. Employers must reach out to employees in order to maintain contact, exchange information, set expectations, and ultimately strive to instill a growth mindset culture into their remote employees.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for ways that leaders can use solid communication to affect this change in the best way possible.

Provide the Communication Tools

First and foremost, if a company is to survive a shift to remote work, it must have the correct tools.

This doesn't just mean each employee needs a computer, a smartphone, and a good headset for video chats. It also implies that managers choose specific applications and software to be propagated throughout their workforce. For instance, it doesn't matter if you use Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or any other video software. What does matter is that you choose one and ensure that your entire staff is set up to properly communicate via that specific channel.

This sets the stage for consistent internal communication, a factor that must be in place if a growth mindset is to be fostered and maintained over time.

Set Communication Examples and Policies

Once you've equipped everyone with the correct hardware and software, it's time to set the precedence for how communication will look going forward. You can do this in two ways.

First, use shared documents, instructional videos, emails, and other forms of crystal clear communication to explain what your internal communication policies will be. A few suggestions for good policies include:

  • Using the correct platform to communicate.
  • Respecting work-life boundaries when communicating.
  • Responding in a timely manner.
  • Adopting a common language that everyone must use when communicating online.

This last suggestion, in particular, is both straightforward as well as nuanced. For instance, you might choose English as your common language, but you may also need to implement further "language" rules, such as avoiding confusing acronyms, including individual names on each message, or censoring harsh or rude language.

The second thing is setting a benchmark for communication through your own example. Make sure to carefully follow the rules that you set down in order to demonstrate to your employees how communication should look as you adjust to a virtual workspace.

Develop and Maintain a Growth Mindset

Finally, once you've set the stage for healthy internal communication, you can begin to instill that growth mindset. You can do this in many different ways, even with remote work restrictions, such as:

  • Demonstrating a problem-solving attitude for your employees to emulate.
  • Empowering your staff to contribute to your company's mission.
  • Acknowledging that maintaining positive growth is difficult in challenging scenarios.
  • Setting proactive, growth-oriented goals for your staff, such as learning how to use a new piece of remote-work-friendly software together.
  • Focusing on cutting through the white noise to provide both consistency and quality information that your employees can dependably act on.

Once again, this last suggestion is critical to understand. With so much information, especially regarding quarantines and government shutdowns, constantly swirling and changing, it's important for leadership to provide clear knowledge and direction within their respective companies. This serves as a beacon for employees to work towards as you attempt to continue to adapt and grow together.

Communicating a Growth Mindset in a Remote Work World

Growth is essential to any modern business. However, it can be particularly challenging when your staff is scattered to the four winds. If you want to maintain a healthy growth-oriented company culture even during times of change and stress, it's crucial that you establish solid lines of communication within your remote workforce. Only then can you truly continue to foster that sense of adaptability, resiliency, and tenacity that a growth mindset offers.

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