Employee Crisis Communications

Published March 18, 2020

Categories: Thought Leadership, Employees, Coronavirus

In times of crisis or uncertainty, it becomes increasingly more important to maintain proactive and clear lines of communication with your employees to help alleviate fear or worry. In a previous blog, Talk to Employees about the Coronavirus, specific types of messaging about the virus were discussed.

Now that the crisis is affecting so many businesses and employees, this blog contains tips for navigating the communication process.

Identify a Centralized Person or Team for Communications

  • Meet regularly with key members of company leadership to ensure consistency in the corporate stance and messaging.
  • Ensure all mass communication is delivered from one key point person, and that all questions are funneled through them as well.
  • Identify key personnel to disseminate important messaging down to front-line employees.
  • Create a phone tree as a second line of communication to ensure those without the ability to access company emails are not left in the dark.

Identify Your Communication Touchpoints

  • Post information regularly in highly visible locations such as break rooms, staff areas, handwashing stations etc. and follow up with email communication, phone calls or text messages when appropriate.
  • Utilize paychecks as an opportunity to attach important communication and updates.
  • Direct your staff to your digital page of company and employee updated information.
  • Be succinct and make sure the messaging is easily understood.
  • Provide communication in the languages that most of your employees speak, for example English and Spanish, when possible.

Identify the Frequency of Communication

  • Give regular updates, even if decisions are still in the works. Proactive communications to your employees helps alleviate fear and uncertainty.
  • “I don’t know the answer to that, let me look into it” is always a better response than no communication at all.
  • In high times of crisis, it is recommended that you provide updates at least once a week, but preferably once every other day, depending on the nature of the crisis and how it affects your staff.
  • Check-in! Show your people that you really do care about their wellbeing, make sure you’re checking-in and gathering feedback,
  • Make sure every question gets answered and ensure that messaging gets relayed to the entire team. Consistency in answers is important.
  • Create an FAQ out of the more common questions and add that to the employee communications site. If one person is thinking it, it’s likely others are too.

When communications are not available, people tend to assume the worst. Don’t leave your employees wondering what’s going on or let them jump to the wrong conclusion. Keep them updated on what it is happening and the measures you are taking to protect them.

Since early January, Flagship has reported on the COVID-19 coronavirus and presented ways companies and airports can prepare and protect their occupants. You can access Flagship’s dedicated coronavirus information hub, which includes past articles, videos, printable materials, updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization.