Here are the seven things I recommend all leaders do to build reassurance:
1. Commit to open communication. Be transparent about the potential impacts of Covid-19 on your business and where there are challenges. This will keep your teams engaged in your business and clients’ needs.
2. Share challenges. If you can share a problem, do. By harnessing the power of collective problem-solving, you can focus people’s minds on constructive, positive thinking.
3. Balance leadership and line management comms. What information should come from the CEO? What should line managers share? Decide what comms plan feels right for your company, and keep your team leads up to date with consistent messages and FAQs. Targeted briefing sheets, daily webinars or conference calls will keep everyone aligned.
4. Create feedback loops. Your employees will have questions, so set up feedback loops to understand and respond to employee concerns and be able to quickly tap into the current mood. This will not only help you address pressing issues when they arise, but you’ll also be able to fine tune your engagement plans.
5. Have a comms contingency plan. Comms teams are not immune to Covid-19, so think about how you’ll keep your employees and stakeholders updated if your comms team is stretched.
6. Be specific. Within your actual communications, only include what people need to know from your company’s perspective. Focus on how they can protect themselves and others, flexible working and travel updates, and how you’re supporting them. Don’t overload employees with information they don’t need like global or UK incidence rates that are readily available on external news sites.
7. Be yourself. Avoid corporate jargon. I know it is easy to slip into it during challenging periods, but don’t. This is the time for plain and clear language.