Internal Employee Communication for COVID-19 Coronavirus
#Internal #communication is more critical than ever as companies navigate the #coronavirus outbreak. Many #employees are working from home, and companies have had to wrestle with how the unprecedented situation impacts productivity, leave, health safety, and workforce management. The anxiety surrounding #COVID19 is matched by employees' concerns about layoffs. The best way to reassure your team is through clear and frequent communication.
1. Look at what worked well after 9/11. Paul Argenti did a study of crisis communications in the aftermath of September 11th, and he found that certain steps were essential in #employeecommunications.
Employees are reassured by hearing the voice of their leaders, so consider using video and audio.
Offer a way for employees to express feedback.
Stay focused on the work and doing it well.
Offer employees opportunities to help each other and the community.
Remind employees how they can receive help with physical and mental health issues.
2. Internal communications should include these elements:
A message that your organization is making contingency plans to limit the disruption to business and is concerned about the wellbeing of its staff
Information about precautionary measures that are being taken, such as restricting nonessential travel, canceling events or sanitizing common spaces.
Unbiased, fact-based resources that employees can turn to for additional information like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website and World Health Organization
A specific point of contact for questions.
Updated policies and procedures, with an emphasis on business continuity, which will put people at ease and will demonstrate strong management.
Customer or public messaging covering the solutions you are implementing in terms of continuity and safety.
3. Try these other ideas to communicate effectively with your employees:
Post information in a highly visible place and use multiple forms of communication (phone, text, email)
Describe decision-making strategies
Don’t wait for all the answers to communicate
Coach employees on what to say to people outside the company
Create an internal web page with coronavirus updates/communications
Cross train employees in case some are out due to illness
Create a Q&A for employees and add to it as needed; consider making it public
All communications should be informed by empathy