This article first appeared in the Daily Post business section.
Businesses are in an unrivalled position to support their employees through the coronavirus pandemic with regular communication.
Three quarters of people (74 per cent) are worried about fake news and false information about the virus.
In addition, they believe their employers most readily – with 63 per cent only needing to see information repeated once or twice from the company they work for before believing it. This was top compared to other organisations and groups including government (58 per cent) and traditional media (51 per cent).
While brands are hitting the headlines (good and bad) with how they are treating their employees during COVID-19, good communication with their workforce will be remembered long after the virus disappears.
More than half (54 per cent) of UK people want daily updates about coronavirus from their employer, with information on employee safety more important than business impact.
Communicate every step, no matter how small, you are taking to keep your staff protected. Be open and transparent – honesty will forge deep bonds that builds trust and understanding.
Zero communication is taken as silence, which can be filled with rumour and misinformation. This can be incredibly damaging to employee relations and morale.
Close to half (48 per cent) want email and e-newsletter updates, with uploading content to the intranet (33 per cent) and phone and video conferences (23 per cent) the next preferred options.
Use subtitles to publish in multiple languages as well as to allow viewers to take the message on board if they are unable to play the video (working from home presents challenges!).
It may also be beneficial to publish just the audio so there are alternative methods to digest the update.
It’s important to remember that the key for employees is frequent communication – 21 per cent don’t care about the channel used.
Keep content short and concise and get to the point quickly: if a key message is three minutes in to the video or six paragraphs in, people may switch off or stop reading before then.
Communication is a dialogue – request feedback from staff about what is being shared and how.
Set up clear processes and procedures for reporting concerns or asking questions to avoid someone taking to social media to vent or voicing frustrations with colleagues.
Employees are a brand’s biggest ambassador – internally and externally. Regular communication will fortify that relationship and allow the business to move forward as best as possible.