The coronavirus has caused a digital revolution in the way we communicate, in both our personal and professional lives.
Businesses placing communications at the heart of their activity right now are building stronger and more resilient relationships with stakeholders.
If you are recruiting, consider what you can do communications-wise to help applicants. Let them know whether the recruitment process might take longer and keep active on social media, updating about deadlines and new positions. Take the time to promote why you’re a fantastic place to work
For customers and other stakeholders, make it clear whether it’s business as usual or not. This removes any speculation and prevents rumours circulating. There is a real sense of community right now and confirming you’re open might encourage people to partner in some way, whether it’s joining forces to offer services such as recruitment and IT.
For example, we have worked with our clients to draft statements which confirm services that have been affected, home working arrangements and the changes they have made in line with government measures.
Organisations will be remembered for what they did during the coronavirus. Can you set up any webinars offering advice, tips and tactics to help? It’s also a sure way to show you are active.
Finally, ensure your website informs the public of your most recent actions and advice as well as your stance on closure and working from home. This helps if there is any misinformation published about you as you can signpost people to the factual information.
Employees are your biggest brand advocate. The way brands are viewed treating their staff will impact recruitment and retention for months and years after COVID-19.
Instead of key messages through social media and website statements, can you create a video message? Videos can be filmed using Zoom and can be readily edited using iMovie for iPhone or FilmoraGo for Android.
Listen to your workforce. How often do they want information of any changes? What are their expectations? More than half (54 per cent) of UK people want daily updates about coronavirus from their employer, so communication is important now more than ever.
Many of us now find ourselves working from home, which means office catch ups and conversations have been moved to phone calls, emails and video calls.
Use Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams to update your team as and when needed about any changes to the company. Some colleagues may feel nervous and uncertain about the future; make sure you update them regularly. There needs to be a strong message from the top about actions management are taking and what staff can do.
Update your crisis plan to include occurrences such as government closures and illnesses. Test it and make sure relevant people are aware of any changes made.
Internal training doesn’t have to come to a halt either. Can you create any materials for your team to review at home? Can you hold weekly or monthly one-to-ones to discuss progress? There are also plenty of webinars hosted by industry leaders right now to help employers.