From USAA, a 3-pronged internal comms effort during the pandemic

A communications exec details how shifting nearly 35,000 employees to work-from-home status was just one aspect of the huge process. Keeping them socially connected was a crucial priority.

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Beyond the logistical issues of working from home, the absence of day-to-day interaction brings new challenges for employees and communicators alike.

Lauren Daniels, assistant VP for employee communications at USAA, explained at Ragan’s April 2020 Best Practices in Internal Communications and Culture Virtual Conference how that member-owned insurance and financial services provider has prioritized the human aspect of remote working in the COVID-19 era.

That vital interpersonal factor should not come at the expense of delivering important information, of course. A balance must be struck.

As early as mid-March, staffers were voicing concerns, notably about internal messaging, Daniels said in her presentation, “How communicators must keep employees connected during the COVID-19 crisis,” which opened Ragan’s Best Practices in Internal Communications & Culture Virtual Summit.

“Employee comments on our internal job satisfaction tool were pretty telling about the state of both urgency for information and frustration with not getting it fast enough,” she said.

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