13 Mar 5 tips to help your business communicate through COVID-19
Be clear and be deliberate. Communication with your employees should be on a regular basis and include ongoing developments and what the company is doing to handle the impact on operations. Educate your employees about the virus to dispel any myths and what preventative measures will work. Talk about who is at risk, signs and symptoms to watch for, as well as measures in place to work remotely should an employee choose to stay at home.
Clear, transparent and truthful communications will help build trust with your team and instill confidence that you have your employee’s well-being in mind.
Reference notable sources of information including:
- World Health organization
- Alberta Health Services
- Government of Canada
- Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Case Tracker
Clear and consistent communication with your clients will help instill confidence that your organization has done all it can to ensure consistent delivery of products and services they need and expect. If there are any challenges that might impact processes, timing, delivery, etc., make sure your customers are informed and let them know the measures you are taking to mitigate the impact.
Provide details of the steps your organization is taking to protect them from exposure to the virus. Consider developing and posting an FAQ on your website that includes questions your customers might ask. Remember, staying in regular communication with your customers with updated is just as important now as it is when operations return to normal.
Measures are being taken by local and provincial governments to limit the spread of COVID-19 and your business plays a significant role in this. What precautions are you taking to ensure your employees are equipped to handle the situation? Are you prepared as an organization to have your team work remotely for a period of time?
Ensure your staff are equipped to work remotely by:
- Ensuring laptops and other hardware either taken home daily or available at a home workstation
- Staff have access to fast and reliable internet service
- Team collaboration tools such as web cameras, and conference lines are functional
- Access to file servers is functional
Check Your Content
Have you taken a few minutes to review what might be in the hopper for your social media feeds? What content is set to be released in your upcoming newsletter? Now is the time to check these sources of content and either edit or remove unnecessary or in some cases, inappropriate information.
Prepare for Media
Now is the time to take account of any prepared statements or website news posts that might be required in the case that your organization faces media inquires. The impact that COVID-19 has on businesses will be topical and you may be asked to give a statement on how you and your organization are facing this crisis.
Consider messaging about how your organization is facing challenges such as:
- Impact on operations
- Impact on employees
- Planning for the future
First, identify who in your organization is authorized and prepared to deliver such a statement. Most organizations will likely avoid commenting on how the virus is impacting their business but, in the case, you want to comment, determine on what aspects of your business will you speak to. Being prepared will ensure you deliver a statement that you don’t regret.