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Responding to COVID-19

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Responding to COVID-19

During this ever-changing and challenging time, many business owners and organizations have been focused on external messaging. The need to explain changes or address concerns to customers and other key external audiences has been extremely important. However, internal messaging – the key information you should be sharing with your employees – is also of paramount importance.

Your employees not only keep your business going, but they’re also your most important brand ambassadors.

It is important that you provide leadership to them by keeping them informed of the ways your company is responding to and addressing health and safety guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and state and local health officials.

Timely, transparent and honest communication of expectations is vital to ensure trust and brand ambassadorship by your employees. Utilizing your organization’s intranet, website and/or social media channels, here are some suggestions on best practices and the types of information you should be communicating clearly to your employees:

· Social distancing and work from home policy: Lead with empathy as employees need to know what measures you are taking to keep them safe. Your employees need to know that you support their desire to work from home, if they so choose. For in-person meetings, lead by example by verbalizing social distancing guidelines. For meetings conducted virtually or by teleconference, make sure employees have the means to join by phone or web.

· Recognize that any information you share with your employees could also be shared publicly. Before you send internal communications, consider how it could be interpreted by external audiences.

· Act decisively and graciously. Do not address any public fears with speculation. For up-to-date information and recommendations to keep people safe and healthy, it’s essential to refer your employees to trusted sources such as the CDC, WHO, and state and local health officials.

· Any information that could affect a disruption in their work hours, pay, or benefits: This is a source of tremendous anxiety for employees. Make sure you communicate any type of information like this to your employees first. Never allow them to hear this from a third party.

For additional guidance on internal communication with your employees, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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