How to communicate with purposeful precision during COVID-19

Employees are eager for clear and consistent information regarding the pandemic’s effect on the business. Follow this guidance to keep your team uplifted, informed and engaged.

How to communicate in crisis

How you treat and communicate with workers during this crisis will be seared into their memories—for better or worse.

Employees are increasingly looking to their employers for accurate, timely information regarding the pandemic, which provides an immense opportunity and challenge for communicators.

“More than ever, in times of crisis, your message really matters,” says Jason Etter, director of marketing for Staffbase, “but you have to be extremely careful with how you phrase things.”

A new guide from Staffbase and Ragan Communications offers sound advice for those eager to make the most of this crucial messaging moment. The free download, “3 Proven Ways to Communicate with Employees During COVID-19,” provides expertise on:

  • Crafting meaningful messaging that will engage employees and ease fears
  • How leaders can and should be corresponding with employees
  • What information, stories and communication channels you should prioritize right away

Communicators have a chance to shine amid this anxiety, but it takes a strategic, smart approach.

How much is too much?

Each crisis requires a different volume of messaging. For COVID-19, which has upended lives and livelihoods around the globe, information must flow consistently. The guide cites the response of Italy-based clothing designer Max Mara, which established a dedicated channel in their branded employee app for pandemic news culled from trustworthy sources.

The guide also offers tips for what types of messaging stand the best chance of resonating with employees right now. Etter says to prioritize “actionable” communication that’s personal, transparent and rich in context.

Leaders must also be more present, available and real when times get tough. The download cites the example of Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, who released a raw, emotional video on Twitter directly addressing the challenges wrought by COVID-19. Your CEO might not be polished or camera-ready, but data reveals that employees crave communication from the top.

Etter also says that it’s “OK to share more than you normally would right now,” with the caveat of keeping focused on COVID-19. Overloading employees with extraneous information might diminish whatever goodwill you’ve established. Regardless of your cadence, channel or content, focus on building trust. As the downloadable report says: “Consistent, honest, and transparent messaging is the cornerstone of corporate trust.”

Establishing—and maintaining—that trust is essential for companies that want to survive the COVID-19 era.

Download your free copy of “3 Proven Ways to Communicate with Employees During COVID-19” today.

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