Updated 20 April 2020
These are uncertain times for everyone and the golden rule during a crisis is to communicate with employees openly and often.
Coordination and Channels
If resources allow, try and nominate one individual in your business to coordinate all communication efforts. This will ensure consistency and avoid mixed messaging.
Establish limited standard channels – e.g. email, SMS, WhatsApp for all communications. Choose channels that you can be sure will reach all employees at the same time.
You should also create an inbound communication channel – e.g. a dedicated email box or phone number for employee questions – there will be a lot of uncertainty and desire for answers during this period.
Following the correct advice on how to stay healthy, avoid transmission and look after one another will save lives and ensure the NHS is able to cope. There is a lot of information being circulated – you should encourage employees to follow government guidance:
The Company Position
Businesses will need to make decisions, take action and work out how to handle a wide array of situations brought about by COVID-19. These range from how to handle absence from work, to potentially laying people off. Employees need to be given clear, timely and consistent information in all of these areas.
Keeping in Touch
With large numbers of people working from home, it is important to find ways to ensure employees stay connected. Try to facilitate peer to peer communication using, for example, technology ranging from informal online “chat” tools through to voice and video conferencing for meetings to more virtual teams and departmental get togethers.