5 tips to improve your communication strategy during the pandemic
You need to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to communication within your school and outside with the local community, particularly in a pandemic.
Crossed wires can lead to increased anxiety and can mean social distancing and other virus guidelines aren’t correctly adhered to.
With that in mind, how can you improve both your internal and external school communication strategy?
Read our five tips below.
Internal communication tips:
1. Consider a weekly memo
If something positive has happened in school, you should be shouting about it – particularly with all the COVID negativity floating around.
Consider a weekly Monday memo to send around all staff to highlight all the great things that happened the previous week. This exercise can boost morale in a time where we all need to celebrate even the smallest of things.
Keep this memo for good news only, don’t taint it with deadlines and negative news!
2. Ask questions
The best way to understand what people need is to ask them. Sounds simple, but scheduling in ‘time to talk’ can give your staff a safe space to explore their ideas. Make this a regular activity, feeling listened to is so crucial in any work environment.
3. Anonymous suggestions box
Sometimes, it’s difficult to speak openly about issues facing your school, and that’s why a suggestions box is a great way to break down these communication barriers.
Encourage staff to submit ideas on how best to improve school communication, you might be surprised how many teachers, and support staff want to get involved!
External communication tips:
4. Be transparent and consistent
Adopt a straightforward approach to your school communication.
It would help if you clear had clear cut rules and guidances, so all parents are sure what is expected of them.
Consistency is critical in a pandemic. If you go weeks without updating parents on school processes, you’re just inviting check-in questions from parents. Preemptively update parents at every turn, even if it’s to re-iterate the clear guidance you’ve already shared. Keeping parents in the loop can go some way to reducing unnecessary admin your end, but also help allay parents’ fears.
5. Layout communication channels
The confusion comes about when parents and teachers aren’t sure how best to communicate with each other.
Communicate which channels they should use and for which purpose. If you signpost the correct channels for communication, you can minimise the risk of important messages or queries being missed or overlooked.
You’ll need to be mindful, of course, that not all families have access to each of these communication channels. You could consider building specifically-tailored communication strategies for these families, for example, using Skype or Zoom to keep in touch, or a simple phone call to check-in. Make sure they feel included in your school community.
Are you wondering if your school could be saving money and doing less admin? Check out our Parentapps savings calculator.