How to manage communication in challenging times
Honest and reliable communication is key to guiding your employees through the crisis, addressing core crisis messages to relevant stakeholder groups, and helping to build trust-based relationships. This means setting up a crisis communication framework with a clear communication strategy, primarily focused on creating a reliable source of truth for employees and a platform for honest exchange.
Essential levers – Actions to be taken by business leaders
The following measures should be implemented to ensure effective communication:
- Focused crisis communication channel
- “One voice” messages
- Exchange, communication, and Q&A platform
- Regular updates from C-Level to employees
- Direct communication to customers and suppliers
- Transparent feedback channels (in-/external)
In order to stabilize the business in the mid-term, leaders need to send simple key messages, define a reliable communication process, provide continuous updates, and collect feedback from employees. Key stakeholder engagement is crucial and needs to be ensured through adequate measures.
Success factors for resetting the course
The following key elements are essential for communication during the crisis:
- Stakeholder communication needs to clearly address the “why, how, when, and what does it mean for me?”
- Virtual communication replaces the social proximity we are accustomed to. The application of new social collaboration systems should create room and space for social exchange.
- Focus on honest and reliable facts, which are communicated in a timely manner to the employees and further stakeholders.
- Concentrate on addressing fears and uncertainty, outlining the steps the organization is taking on behalf of its employees, and building up a future vision.