Internal Communication during the COVID-19 crisis

Businesses need to communicate with anxious workforces about complicated issues to keep them healthy, informed and motivated.

Apr 03, 2020

Internal Communication during the COVID-19 crisis

Why Internal Communication is as important as ever

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading globally at an incredible rate. New cases are been recorded daily by doctors via regular updates from our government. The virus is also an issue for our economy as a whole. Businesses are beginning to feel the impacts on turnover, with many having to close down and furlough their employees.

But where does that leave the employees now working from home?

Some businesses can continue to operate with employees under quarantine and working remotely. This isolation creates an issue for companies of how to run their internal communications smoothly.

How does a business manage to instantly share the information its employees need to do their jobs when they are now scattered across the country? How do you keep the workplace productivity high and team collaboration strong when your teams are sat at home? And how do you engage with your employees if they are working remotely?

Lisa Ross, COO of Edelman in the U.S has said:

“Employees are turning to business as a source of truth on the daily issues they’re facing,” she says. “So we’re counselling our clients to keep up a continual cadence of credible information.”

A cadence of credible info... Now that's some smashing fancy talk for a Friday! Essentially employees need a regular, probably more than normal, feed of information on what is going on and how important their role is in the businesses survival.

Your employees need guidance

COVID-19 is changing internal communication and employee engagement. Your workforce could be feeling isolated and alone. They will have questions. “What’s going on?”, “will I still have a job at the end of all this?”, “will I lose my job if this lockdown carries on too long?”. Internal Communication will play a vital role in handling these questions and keeping your employees focussed and on track.

74% of employees feel they are missing out on important information - Gallup poll.

Whilst your employees are working from home the opportunity for "fake news" to feed into the business is high. Private WhatsApp chats and Microsoft Teams messaging will be spreading stories and gossip. You need a solid platform and strategy in place to stub out the negativity with updates and news on positivity and truth.

So what should you do?

These are my 3 top tips on how to manage your Internal Communications during this crisis:

Right Place - Right time

Hanging notices in the staff room doesn't cut it anymore, neither do intranet updates that are locked away behind company firewalls. You need to send out timely messages on a regular basis on a platform every one of your employees has access too at home. 13% of employees use their company intranet and 2 in 3 employees ignore email newsletters through email fatigue.

Gauge Opinion

Your employees will have questions and if you do not answer them - fake news will! Use regular surveys and polls to gauge feeling and allow your employees a mechanism to ask questions and air their concerns.

Analyse Metrics

How do you know if your internal communication is effective if you don’t track it? You need to be able see if your employees are reading your updates and which content generates the most reads and questions. These important metrics form the building blocks of future campaigns and updates.

darren hepburn
Darren Hepburn

Bon Jovi loving, social media junkie and F1 fan. I spend most of my time thinking about the impact technology is having on our society. And my pug Winston...