10 ways to keep employees engaged and informed during COVID-19 disruptions

Follow this guidance to produce meaningful messaging that resonates with workers and maintains a strong sense of community.

COVID-19 comms keys

COVID-19 is forcing companies to get serious about the vital importance of communication.

Timely, thoughtful messaging can boost morale and make employees feel reassured, hopeful and uplifted. Poor communication can alienate staffers and cause costly chaos. Right now, employees are weighed down by heavy questions such as:

  • Am I going to get furloughed or laid off?
  • What happens if I get sick?
  • What are we going to do about child care?
  • How long can we pay our bills?
  • Will my performance be measured the same during this time?
  • When is this going to end?

To help guide communicators through this difficult season, Simpplr is offering a free download, “10 internal communications best practices during COVID-19.” The guide is jam-packed with sound advice and useful tips, and covers specific topics communicators will find of great interest, including:

  • How to answer difficult questions from workers
  • How and when you should communicate with employees
  • What sorts of content, channels and platforms merit priority right now
  • Tips on collaborating with IT to ensure your messaging remains seamless
  • Guidance on amplifying key leaders’ voices
  • Ideas to keep remote workers engaged, motivated and encouraged amid COVID-19 restrictions
  • How to prepare your workplace for a post-COVID-19 world

Seek feedback, and be ready to adjust

Communicators don’t and won’t have answers for many of the questions employees have at this time. And that’s OK. Focus on being “transparent, authentic and empathetic,” the guide says. Also, establish a predictable messaging cadence. “Communicate critical information once a day, the same time every day, on a channel you control,” according to Simpplr.

To help shape the tenor and contours of your messaging, Simpplr suggests ramping up pulse surveys. Consistently check email and intranet analytics and be prepared to change tactics based on feedback. As Simpplr writes, “Surveys are useless if you don’t act on findings.”

This is also a crucial time for communicators to increase collaboration with other departments—especially the folks in IT. The guide says to closely consult with IT before pushing for new software or funneling messaging through a specific channel. Be sure to consider:

  • Work with IT to prioritize security of every channel or platform.
  • Evaluate software by ease of deployment and IT administration.
  • Check the integration breadth with existing software.
  • Think about scalability to account for future growth.

As the guide says, “Organizations are rewriting internal communications best practices as we speak. And a lot of the recent changes will be here to stay.”

Is your organization prepared to not just endure this crisis, but to thrive well beyond the turmoil of COVID-19? Right now, communicators can have a profound impact on company performance and employee well-being. But you must take a smart, strategic, employee-centric approach to hit all the right notes.

Download your free guide today, and start crafting messages that resonate with employees.


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.