Communication within the organisation is vital during a crisis to minimise its impact. Your subordinates will lose their ground without support from each other. The continuity of business depends heavily on the interaction among the employees.
The recent pandemic forced the world to work from their home within the weeks of its arrival. Almost every organisation was ill-prepared for a remote working setup. Imagine the mess in the businesses where the communication standards were limited to some private chats.
Here, we have mentioned some tips for the businesses to create a smooth communication line at the time of crisis.
Work on Transparency
Transparency is essential while communicating new ideas and policies. You have to make sure the employees understand the reasons for a change. They will follow the crisis plan more efficiently if they know the gravity of the situation.
The idea here is not to keep them in complete darkness while deciding their future with the organisation. You cannot share everything from the meetings because of the obvious reasons. Just share enough information that prevents panic within the organisation.
Organise meetings with brainstorming sessions to take ideas and feedback from the employees. This will help improve the strategies you have planned to counter the crisis. Also, the problem solving and leadership skills of the subordinates will come in the limelight.
You should always open the communication channel for feedbacks from employees. It won’t take more than a few minutes to read the emails from them. Make sure the answers are transparent to avoid any confusion or dispute.
Prioritise the People Leaving
A crisis may result in some of the staff forced to leave their job. As the leader, it is your responsibility to help them during this time of distress. Offer them severance, a good reference, benefits, and recommend a private lender to get loans for unemployed.
The staff still working there will also appreciate your efforts to help the leaving staff. They will expect the same treatment in case they are laid-off. Therefore, some positivity will prevail among the darkest of the hours.
Crisis management requires an optimistic approach to stay afloat. You have to find a solution to the problem at any cost. Your optimism should reflect in the communication with employees, that generally involves their doubts and insecurities.
Make sure the optimist approach doesn’t overshadow the authenticity of the shared information. You can sandwich the bad information between two optimist sentences to keep their hopes alive. Try to answer the doubt over the continuity of business with the certainty of its future.
Open Doors for Everyone
A word from the leader is more assuring than co-workers. Thus, try to keep the communication open for employees on the lower level of the organisational structure. Remember, you need to put the whole organisation together to fight the crisis.
A central communication line will help the employees to reach you without any hassle. People working at a remote location cannot visit the office to meet you for simple queries. Also, you can answer their questions during the break time at a faster rate with a single line of communication.
Implement a Notification System
Push notifications are used to ensure the message receives some attention from the recipient. You can use them to send important information to the employees between the bulk of unimportant chats. Those high priority messages will have separate space in the notification area.
Employees often use the “Do Not Disturb” option to avoid distractions because of trivial messages. The same communication line is often used for informal messaging among the employees.
Speed with Accuracy
Speedy communication is vital in crisis to let the employees understand the situation. You need them to act fast to prevent significant loss to the business. However, you can afford mistakes on the communication as it might result in companywide panic.
Ask the HR to send a message about the current situation once all the information is gathered. You can ask the employees to wait for the official word if the leadership is not ready to share detail. Let them discuss the matter with proper information in hand.
Help the Remote Workers
Some of the employees have to start working from home after the crisis. At the same time, many jobs require a remote location of work for operational and financial reasons. Provide them complete support to manage their work from a distant location.
They should be offered some flexibility in timing because of the household troubles. A working mother will have a hard time working at home with kids around. Invest in their equipment, take doorstep loans for unemployed to cover the cost.
In the end, communication is the key to manage the business in the time of crisis effectively. You have to create an open channel of interaction between the employees to share ideas and feedback. Also, try to make the new arrangement work for every subordinate working at office or home.