Empathetic and effective employee engagement
At times of crisis or when your organisation has an important issue to manage, it’s important that your internal communication to staff is as authentic and clear as your external communication. Employees need to know what is happening, what action is being taken and why, how they will be affected and what they are expected to do. We outline three key steps you should take to engage effectively with your team.
- Show you care
Your internal messaging needs to focus on the facts and give clear instruction, whilst not overwhelming people with complex information. You should ensure there is opportunity for staff to ask questions, give feedback and allow them to share their ideas and concerns. Remember that they are ambassadors for your business and will play an important role in its recovery. A genuine thank you to staff for their support during time of crisis goes a long way.
At times of crisis, you should adopt the care model for both internal and external communication, demonstrating that you are showing the following:
Concern for what is happening and that you empathise and are sensitive to the situation
Action you are taking
Reassurance that you are doing all you can
Engagement through internal and external communication
- Be visible
Senior leaders must be visible, authoritative and interested. Management should be regularly available to answer employees’ questions and be clear what you want to achieve from a strategic perspective.
During the current Covid-19 crisis, face to face contact may not be possible, so other forms of communication should be used where appropriate, including online conferencing updates, intranet, short text messages, emails, social media, helplines, letters and noticeboard messages and posters.
Your measurement should evaluate whether there have been positive changes in behaviour and in the perception of your organisation both internally and externally. Are there steps you can take in the future to improve on your internal communication? What worked well and could you have done some things in a better way and how? Remember that when we are dealing with crisis situations, not everyone reacts in the same way and that we’re all human and need support.
We can work with you and your team to help protect your business and your people and ensure that you respond to any crisis or issue in a clear and effective way. For support with your internal communication, please get in touch