How important is internal communications in a time of crisis?
One word – critical!!!
Firstly you have a Duty of Care to your employees/virtual teams, to keep them in the loop with what’s going on; personal furlough info, contracts, payments and general guidelines about performance and behaviour. You have to manage their expectations.
Morale: Whether your staff are furloughed, working as part of a skeleton staff, or are having to go hell for leather because of extra demand, you have to support and guide them. More meetings, more 121’s, more recognition, more treats.
The Face of Your Brand: Your employees are the face of your brand to the outside world – especially at the point of customer contact. If they are continuing to interact with your clients, other colleagues, suppliers etc they need to feel supported and believe in their company.
Confidence is everything - you will need to provide guidance around key personal and business information, operational aspects and actions that are being taken. You need to keep this up to date – find a simple, round-robin way of doing this regularly. Maybe a MailChimp news update, maybe a closed WhatsApp group, or if you don’t already do it A Monday Morning Meeting. If things change, share new info!
Create a two-way communication process – so you can hear what they’ve got to say, what their experiences are etc.