COVID-19 is still effecting companies across the country and the world. We all need to be more communicative during this stressful time. If you’re not communicating with your team, you are contributing to the stress that your employees are likely feeling right now. We need to go above and beyond with our communication due to remote work and the general anxiety everyone is feeling around the current pandemic. What message do you want to give to your employees who are struggling? Here’s how to manage communication during COVID-19.
1. Announce Any Changes To Your Employees First
Changes are bound to happen to your company whether you are dealing with an impending layoff, you need to hire more people, or you are just trying to keep things as they are. These updates will affect your employees, and they should be alerted about these updates as quickly as possible. By informing your employees early, they can prepare for how these updates will affect them, their livelihood, et cetera. Your employees come first. They don’t need to hear about changes in the news or from a friend. They need to hear it from you.
2. Make Sure That Employees Are Communicating Often
It can be easy to shut down during a pandemic like this. Communication and checking in on your employees will make all the difference. Your team needs to know that you are here for them in more than a superficial are you done with your work way. Make sure that your team Slack channel is thriving, and touch base with employees one-on-one throughout the day. There’s a reason that communication makes such a difference during a crisis.
3. Utilize Video Communication Whenever Possible
We’ve talked about the importance of video communication, and we think this is more important than ever. Are you taking the time to have video chats as a team and one-on-one? These Zoom calls may feel annoying, but they are also a way to check-in with your team and make sure that everyone is doing okay. You don’t have to have a video chat every day, but make sure to throw in a video chat with your team at least once a week. Mix up how you meet so that everyone can see each other and have a sense of normalcy during this pandemic.
4. Don’t Forget About Team Bonding
As communication is lacking, it might be time to go back to basics with team bonding exercises. You don’t need to make these complicated or unbearable. Create simple activities that your team can do together to get to know each other and build rapport. If you’ve been hiring more people during the pandemic, you want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and acquainted with one another. Here are some team bonding activities for remote workers to get you started.
5. Create An Anonymous Form Of Communication For Employees To Voice Concerns
Communication during COVID-19 has created a lot of insecurities and anxiety with employees everywhere. As employees hear about problems with workers across the globe, some employees might not feel comfortable sharing their concerns with your team right now. If you want to create a more effective and open organization, you will create a place to submit anonymous feedback and questions.
When you create an anonymous survey or comments “box,” you allow your employees to share the questions they’re afraid to ask. You can’t create a fantastic place to work during our current pandemic if you’re not resolving these kinds of issues.
6. Extend More Kindness Than You Think You Need To
Kindness and empathy are necessary traits if you want to manage communication during COVID-19. It can be easy to be frustrated by things like a lapse in communication, slow turnaround on work, or employees being in a negative mood. Everyone is dealing with the current pandemic in the best way they know how. If you have a better grip on your work during this time, employees who don’t can make you upset.
Instead, take a deep breath, and extend the people on your team more kindness right now. Chalk any slights you may feel up to your employees struggling to cope. Do what you can to provide a healthier work environment for your team, and leave the rest up to chance. You can’t control everything during this trying time.
7. Make A Plan To Communicate With Any Employees Who Are Laid Off Or Furloughed
Many companies are facing challenging decisions and layoffs right now. If you and your team need to let employees go or furlough them, make a plan to communicate with them. These employees shouldn’t be abandoned right now. Take a few minutes each day to reach out to people who were let go, point them to resources, and let them know you are there for them.
When communicating with furloughed employees, you want to be careful about what you say, and when you say it. They might not want a message from their direct supervisor or the CEO. See if you can get other employees to connect with them and send them your well-wishes. If you have a good relationship with anyone who was laid off, connect with them, let them know that you would love to be a reference and that you’re thinking of them.
Conclusion: Manage Employee And Customer Communication During COVID-19
Communication is critical during a pandemic. People need more connection than they did before the pandemic. Your team needs to provide that community for employees. If you are struggling with consistent communication, add it to your schedule. Make sure you are setting aside thirty minutes every day to communicate with your team, reach out to recently laid-off employees, and motivate those around you. Your communication could be the light your team needs to succeed.