Claire Canning, Marketing and Communications Manager at United Welsh shares some Mr Motivator inspiration for your internal comms campaigns in this two part series.
I couldn’t help but smile when the iconic fitness legend that is Mr. Motivator returned to our screens in March.
Back in his familiar neon leotards to get TV viewers active again, Mr. Motivator’s comeback was the 90s nostalgia that the nation needed to bring some fun to the living room.
It was the early days of lockdown, but now we’re several weeks in and I’m sure that like me, some people are struggling to stay motivated; whether that’s the motivation for working from home, finding new ways to entertain the kids, or deciding what fancy dress to wear for your 16th virtual pub quiz.
It got me thinking that lots of teams could do with a Mr. Motivator right now, and when considering the different corporate communications disciplines, internal communications is the bright and bold person for the job.
As Marketing and Communications Manager for United Welsh, one of Wales’s largest housing associations based in Caerphilly, I didn’t think that I would be writing about internal communication in relation to squats or colourful spandex either but please – stay with me.
There are some things that we can learn from Mr. Motivator.
It goes without saying that the Coronavirus pandemic continues to be an emotionally challenging time for us all.
When Mr. Motivator made his TV comeback, he knew that people up and down the country were having a hard time, but it didn’t stop him from telling us to “get happy and be wicked at home!”
People are drawn to positivity; it makes them feel good. It may be difficult for organisations to find new messages to communicate positively with staff, but to keep people motivated, you must try.
An easy way to communicate positively is to show appreciation for what has been or will be done.
Given the exceptional times that we’re living in, any way that people are getting their jobs done or supporting people is exceptional right now. Keep on telling people what people in other teams are doing to make staff feel valued. Keep on saying thank you.
In their own way, everyone is contributing, including staff who are furloughed as their time away from work is helping the organisation’s sustainability for the future. Don’t forget them and keep encouraging staff to share their stories; in person, through photos, and in writing. Story-telling lifts morale and in the future, we need stories for posterity.
Keep the Conversation Going
Mr. Motivator’s wise words are part of his charm, but there’s a simple reason why he keeps talking to fans as they lunge in their loungewear – it keeps them engaged.
By now, many organisations are weeks into working in a different way, be it at home or with restrictions outside, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is comfortable.
Keep on using your communication channels to update staff on the latest; not necessarily daily if there is nothing new to say, but at least weekly so people still feel informed and have the chance to ask questions.
At United Welsh, we’re acutely aware that some of the people that we provide homes or support services for are isolating on their own, presenting additional challenges for their wellbeing.
Like many organisations, we have adapted our services to reach out to tenants through phone and video calls to check they’re ok, and to check they have the support to get essentials if they’re unable to go out at all. Even if it only ends up being a conversation, it goes a long way.
It’s so important for organisations to do the same for staff. Keep on reaching out because, for some people, their friends and colleagues at work are their support network.
If employees feel left out, their motivation will drop.