How to enhance your internal communications for COVID-19
Has your company put any communications in place for employees for coronavirus, COVID-19?
What started as a public health scare in December in China, has now been labelled a “pandemic” by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and advice from Public Health England (PHE) has said that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
So, what should you be doing to as a business to support your employees?
Below, we’ve shared our advice to help you ensure your internal communications strategy supports your team effectively.
1. Support remote work to minimise crowds and uncertainty.
Several cities and countries around the world have been actively quarantining suspected and positive cases since the outbreak of COVID-19. While the UK, Germany, and the US have been requesting people to self-quarantine, other countries such as China and Italy have quarantined entire regions in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
When employees are quarantined, they are required to work remotely. The better option is to support everyone working remotely so that they have the comfort of being within the reach of loved ones in case of any adverse incident, and this can make running internal communications smoothly a challenge.
To overcome this, ensure continued engagement is frequent and meaningful. And, share relevant, reliable news and updates regarding the spread of the virus and ongoing local and national efforts being implemented to control the pandemic, as well as sharing tips aimed at making working from home more effective.
2. Diffuse myths.
A common fallout of global crises is the circulation of misinformation – ranging in severity from mild to alarming.
Your employees will be no different, and like everyone else they will be worried and uncertain about the impact COVID-19 may have on them, their family and friends.
Help diffuse myths by sharing all government and any other trusted authority-certified (such as the WHO) guidelines and press releases as soon as they’re published. This will help you cut through the noise of misinformation and convey accurate facts.
3. Make your communications timely and concise.
Due to the growth in COVID-19 cases, it’s essential that you make your communications timely, to mitigate fear amongst employees.
Turn your internal communication system into a real-time one and be proactive about sharing any helpful and accurate information you come across with your employees.
And, remember to increase the chances of your messages being read by selecting appropriate content formats that are popular amongst employees – such as short infographics, videos, and images.
4. Segment your audience.
If you have multiple, international office/business sites, you’ll need to share different messages depending on the situations in their countries.
To do this you should segment all messages by team, business verticals, and geography to avoid wrong messages reaching the wrong groups of people.
5. Encourage two-way communication.
In times of crisis your employees will have lots of questions to ask about precautions, policies, company measures, and the future. Ensure that you have a platform for them to express their concerns and queries and provide answers promptly.
An effective way to support this communication is to turn your employee communication system into a platform for employees to respond to your messages, news and updates. And, you can break down your messages into topics such as “Breaking news,” “Updates,” “Safety procedures,” and “Internal measures and policies” to effectively categorise your communications.
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