Communications in the time of Coronavirus
23 March 2020
In recent days and weeks it’s been heartening to see many companies acting with astonishing agility, compassion and determination in response to these extraordinary circumstances. However, the uncertainty about what’s to come makes it extremely challenging to know how best to prepare for the practical realities that lie ahead and also how to communicate that to employees.
Here at Stitch HQ (now up and running remotely, but possibly speaking even more than usual via Zoom), we’ve been thinking of ways businesses can most effectively reach out to their people. Whilst health remains the highest priority, the financial and personal wellbeing of employees comes to the forefront of our minds – it’s just what we do.
So, how can we continue to inform, engage and support our people in these unsettling times?
- Make things clear and simple to understand. It’s more important than ever to avoid confusing jargon. The media is already flooded with conflicting advice
- Create an open and informal dialogue between CEO, senior teams and employees. People look to leaders for guidance and support
- By all means be creative with the channels of communication, but make sure important messaging is easy to locate. Keeping one main source of truth for employees creates trust
- Give employees the time and opportunity to ask questions. Give your line managers support so they can answer team questions on a more personal level
- Find ways to connect emotionally with your audience – use video, fun backdrops, virtual parties, share playlists – consider the most effective and engaging ways to replace face to face meets
- Ensure your message is well planned. You won’t have all the answers yet – don’t be afraid to say so, but do commit to keeping everyone up-to-date with the latest information
- Prepare to change
- Be ready to react to changes as and when they filter down. Plan ahead as much as possible and have your messaging ready to go as soon as you can!
Keeping employees happy, connected and productive has probably never been so challenging as it is right now, but we’re here to help. If you’d like to hear our thoughts on messaging, some practical input on content and visuals or you just want a sounding board to talk to then let us know.
Jane and Vicki are ready to send you a Zoom call invite (though we should warn you our custom backdrop game is strong) Don’t worry if you’re feeling shy – you can just email us too!
In the meantime, stay safe and well everybody.