With the ongoing coronavirus crisis, companies are working hard to reassure customers about safety precautions and new procedures. However, it’s just as important to stay on top of internal communications. Employees are worried about what comes next, especially as teams shift to remote work and sales reps are called out of the field. Working from home can leave many workers feeling isolated and uncertain about the future. We all know that, as leaders, we should be supporting and inspiring our teams, but what’s the best way to do that when the situation is rapidly evolving?
Right now, employees need to see and hear directly from their leadership team. Start by sharing a live streamed or recorded video message. While you may not have access to a production studio or high-quality recording equipment, our video producer has shared some great insights on at-home filming using a smartphone or webcam.
Video communication will be the best way to reassure and lead your team, but you can also supplement those messages with written communication for smaller, more frequent updates throughout the week. Post these regular touchpoints on a company intranet, email, or messaging service that all team members have access to.
Employees know that the coronavirus situation is changing daily. They don’t expect you to have all the answers, but they need to hear genuine and direct insights from their leadership team. Before jumping into a discussion about the business, share sincere concern and support for your teams and communities. Then, acknowledge the challenges your company is facing, while also sharing tangible next steps for the weeks and months ahead.
As a leader, you are intimately aware of new business strategies and plans that are being discussed during this crisis. However, keep in mind that most employees don’t know what’s happening with the company until you send an official update. It’s important to touch base frequently with your team even when there are no major updates to share. Keep them informed about which problems are being addressed and when they can expect further details.
Listen to Employees
Be available for employees to share their concerns. Taking the time to listen and understand the crisis from your employees’ points of view will help you become a better leader. Respond to employee concerns respectfully and swiftly. Again, it’s okay not to have all the answers, but make sure they feel valued and heard. Then, address common questions in your regular updates to the team.
Be sensitive to employee needs at a time like this, but it’s also okay to talk about business. Help employees get back into a normal routine at work, even if their day-to-day has radically shifted. Redefine quarterly and annual goals, so your team knows what is expected of them. Now is a great time to focus on training, and you can also empower your employees to be creative about new business opportunities or efficiencies.
Use this 5-step plan to guide your employees through a challenging period, and you’ll emerge with a stronger team that is ready to hit the ground running.