During stressful times, businesses must alleviate employee fears with clear communications. As an internal communications or human resources (HR) professional, it’s likely you’ve planned for this moment. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and is causing extreme uncertainty and anxiety as people worry about their careers and health. Businesses’ ability to effectively and compassionately communicate with their employees during this time, while also nurturing the employee experience, will determine the fate of the business once this global pandemic has passed.
Below are four considerations for communicating with employees during the coronavirus crisis.
Demonstrate Emotional Empathy
Employees are dealing with stress from the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation and many are facing personal daily battles that range from feeling isolated to trying to keep children quiet while they join conference calls. All employee communications should start with empathy and then carry that sentiment through messages about safety, policy and procedure. When appropriate, offer employees the opportunity to ask questions, gain insights, and even vent their frustrations with the situation.
Choose the Best Method to Communicate
Employee’s personal inboxes are flooded with communications from every company they’ve ever interacted with, and they’re living in their business email accounts since they can’t be face-to-face with colleagues, customers and partners. It’s important to think about the most effective way to deliver employee communications so that they’re receiving the information that is most relevant to them. A modern intranet has never been more important than it is today.
Don’t Let Loneliness Lead to Disengagement
Social isolation is lonely – and frustrating and draining. All of this can lead to disengagement. Businesses have an opportunity to bring their team together during this time of crisis. Get creative by planning moments of connection for employees. Plan virtual happy hours. Encourage employees to share photos of their pets curled up next to them as they work from home. If done effectively, your employees may even come out the other side of this crisis a stronger team than before.
Encourage Personal Progress and Highlight Major Accomplishments
It’s important to remember that the most important component of employee satisfaction is to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. Technology plays a critical role in this. You must give employees the resources and tools to be as productive, engaged, and collaborative as possible – even during this time when it’s likely that 100 percent of your workforce is remote. Also be sure to keep employee recognition programs running because people that succeed despite adverse conditions can inspire others to do the same.
It’s never too late to modernize the employee experience. The Akumina team is available to connect today. Contact us for a free custom demo.Read More