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Employee Engagement: communication tips during the COVID-19 crisis


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Three ways organisations can help navigate employees through the COVID-19 situation through effective and impactful communications.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Employee Engagement: communication tips during the COVID-19 crisis

  1. 1. E M P L O Y E E E N G A G E M E N T I N T H E E R A O F C O V I D - 1 9 A short and practical guide on how organisations can adapt their communications and engage their employees during this ‘new normal’
  2. 2. 2 W E A R E I N A T I M E O F U N P R E C E D E N T E D C H A N G E A N D O R G A N I S A T I O N S M U S T A D A P T T H E W A Y T H E Y E N G A G E W I T H T H E I R E M P L O Y E E S
  3. 3. A L L O V E R T H E W O R L D A N D A C R O S S I N D U S T R I E S , O R G A N I S A T I O N S A R E M A N D A T I N G E M P L O Y E E S T O W O R K F R O M H O M E . This new work-from-home scenario brings about unique challenges and will have an immediate impact on the way teams and organisations do business – but it can also present many opportunities for new ways of communication, engagement and knowledge sharing. Majority (88%) of organisations have encouraged or required employees to work from home, regardless of whether or not they show coronavirus-related symptoms* 3* according to a Gartner survey of 800 global HR professionals
  4. 4. T H R E E W A Y S O R G A N I S A T I O N S C A N I M P R O V E T H E I R C O M M U N I C A T I O N S Open communications & connections 02. Bridge the distance – go social 01. 4 Leaders, take the lead! 03.
  5. 5. ADOPT THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY Picking the right technology that works well for your team can improve efficiency. From Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams and Zoom, test out different methods of remote communication to determine the best platform to connect and provide employees with clear instructions on how to get connected. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BE #ALONETOGETHER When social distancing is the norm, look to the collaborative interaction of social media to engage with employees and keep up team morale. Exploring new channels and styles is key. From weekly conference calls, to WhatsApp group chats and even virtual lunch meetings or Friday drinks – now’s the time to get creative! B R I D G E T H E D I S T A N C E - G O S O C I A L 5 BLENDED COMMUNICATIONS Don’t assume everyone will embrace new communication tools immediately. Plan to deliver news, updates and training programmes using a variety of channels. Short updates via web chat can capture attention for immediate individual tasks, while instructions via email works better for more intensive collaborative work to ensure alignment across the team.
  6. 6. HELP EMPLOYEES WORK FROM HOME For employees who are adjusting to a work-from-home schedule, burnout can be a real possibility. Without a commute to close off the day, employees may struggle with ending their work day in a way that feels natural and satisfying. Work with team members to help them set an end point in their day in a way that is both productive for the team and helps team members avoid costly burnout. BE TRANSPARENT AND OPEN Employees are your main stakeholders. In these uncertain times, they want to keep abreast of updates and developments, especially when working remotely. Put yourself in their shoes and ensure your communication is open and authentic – let them know how they are impacted, what they need to do and who they can talk to. Authenticity fosters productivity. O P E N C O M M U N I C A T I O N S & C O N N E C T I O N S 6 MAINTAIN MEANINGFUL HUMAN CONNECTIONS Working remotely and being physically alone has become a reality for many. Teams with WFH policies need to find ways to connect meaningfully with one another for mental and emotional well- being. Schedule one-on-one calls with your teammates or drop them a text to find out how they’re doing.
  7. 7. OVER-COMMUNICATE Working from home might cause employees to feel isolated from office communications. During this period, it’s safe to over-communicate. Don’t assume employees know what you are doing – provide ongoing updates to employees around any potential impacts and what the company is proactively doing to mitigate the risks. BE A ROLE MODEL Employees look to their leaders as role models, especially when they’re unsure of how to behave. People follow the example of leaders they respect, so leaders’ behavior must be consistent with what they are communicating and encouraging employees to do. Be the first to embrace new policies such as practicing social distancing or cutting back on travel, and employees will be more motivated to do the same. L E A D E R S , T A K E T H E L E A D ! 7 RESPOND TO FEEDBACK Asking and listening to employees’ feedback during this crisis is important, as it helps you understand what your staff are going through. At the same time, it’s imperative to respond to their feedback thoughtfully and promptly. If employees take the time to share concerns, leaders need to respond. Get back to them, show them what you’re doing with their feedback and how it informs the business.
  9. 9. 9 F R O M U S T O Y O U For more information, contact us at or visit our website at