Company Communications about Coronavirus

Goals

Summarize key information for a blog post on employee communication during the coronavirus.

Early Findings

Best Practices

  • Communicate early and often to help employees remain calm and to help them feel they're part of the process the company is going through. "The company needs to demystify the situation for employees, put everyone’s mind at ease, and provide hope for the future."
  • Put some thought into the means of communication for important messages. "A simple email may not suffice for a very large announcement. Leaders may get messages more effectively across through a livestream, town hall or fireside chat."
  • Create a team, or at least a point person (depending on the size of the organization) for centralized communications. "Ideally these teams should be small, five to seven people. You need to include a member of the leadership team, someone from corporate communications, an HR executive, and an expert in the area of concern." Tasks this team can address include: closely monitoring the situation; issuing regular updates to constituents; acting as the main information source; being as succinct and transparent as possible in messaging.
  • "Write with authority, humanity and clarity." Anticipate what questions employees might have, and what their biggest concerns will be, and try to address those points in any messaging. And, "In addition to information, people need encouragement and inspiration. Don’t hesitate to send brief messages of support to your team."
  • Harvard Business Review summarizes some key best practices for the communication itself:
  • "Post information regularly in a highly visible location. This can be a physical location or virtual — email, the company intranet, or a Slack or Facebook channel.
  • Describe how decisions were made about issues such as travel, working from home, etc.
  • Communicate no less than every other day.
  • Try to provide timely information rather than waiting until you know all of the answers."

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