We have, in our midst, a novel pandemic called the coronavirus (COVID-19). In response, even if the operational and managerial details are handled by an organization, a business may fail. What would cause the entire crisis response to collapse? One cause could be if communication with external and internal stakeholders isn’t coordinated, consistent, truthful, and timely. Unwanted stakeholder scrutiny can be a direct result of botched communication in response to a crisis such as the coronavirus. Additionally, however, significant emotional and physical harm can be caused – as well as lasting, severe damage – to the bottom line of a company, its reputation, and to stakeholder trust.
But wait! What about employees? There’s more to a company than stakeholders, after all. When it comes to mastering coronavirus challenges, certain employee communication best practices will be crucial. Employee communication must increase in frequency and volume to give employees three things:
What’s more, the following must be prioritized:
- Succinct, precise communication must be developed and tested
- Deliver clear messages that are easy to understand
- Enable employee feedback
Don’t let COVID-19 cripple your company with adversity. Enhance your company’s competitiveness and reputation, even during the coronavirus, with these tips for better communication management.
Be Prepared with a Plan
There’s nothing like pressure to derail your thoughts. That’s why having a plan in place before a crisis occurs is the best rule of thumb. As soon as possible, for proper preparedness planning in a crisis, make sure the following are in place:
- The necessary tools
- The right process
- A good organizational structure
Ongoing Dialogue Should Be Maintained
Long before a crisis occurs, constructive dialogue with both stakeholders and employees should be established. This gives management increased odds of corresponding necessary communication and keeping a business moving during crisis.
Employees Should Be Communicated with First
Though communication with external stakeholders is important, there’s time for that. It should be preceded by internal crisis communication whenever possible. Let your staff know what’s going on. Be as positive but as honest as possible.
Uncertainty Must Be Eradicated
Internal communication frequency and volume must be increased during this time to avoid the following:
- The subsequent loss of dedicated and trained employees
- Low morale
- A lack of trust
Employees Questions Should Be Tackled
When people are left to wonder, conjecture and rumor abound. Make sure that any questions from your employees are addressed and appropriately answered. If you don’t know the answer, let them know that you will find out!
Communication Allies Must Be Created
To aid in speaking up for the company externally and internally, feel free to guide employees in their efforts. Much of a company’s staff will not only be willing but eager to help the businesses’ survival efforts.
Communicate Actions, Feelings, and Facts
More than ever before, exceptional communication is important because economic turmoil, heightened anxiety, and an unknown future are faced by many of us. Help alleviate fears and conjecture by developing and delivering compelling messages.
Make Sure That Your Messaging Is Consistent
Some companies have adopted a “One Voice Policy” so that communication is consistent, well-informed, coherent, etc. This stops inappropriate or incorrect information from all directions and too many sources.
Leaders Must Be Convinced on Feedback
Tell your leaders that employee feedback is important for these three reasons:
- It contains valuable suggestions and information of all types.
- It helps management track the opinions, expectations, and perceptions of employees.
- It helps management discover whether the desired results have been achieved and if the intended groups were reached.
Make Sure Senior Management Is Involved
For employees, the coronavirus is causing uncertainty and unprecedented pressure. But senior management can help prevent panic, false information, and rumors by being at the forefront of communication. They can provide motivation, guidance, and relevant information across organizational hierarchies to distressed employees. As well as the future of the company, it is essential to address concerns appropriately in connection with employee safety and health.
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Help your company communicate effectively – and be all it can be – with the assistance of Anti-PR specialists. Contact us today.