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5 Tips for Teams Leading Company COVID-19 Communications

Published Apr 01, 2020 by Maggie Martin

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold with new information coming out daily, greater Houston businesses are watching closely to learn how decisions at the local, state and federal level are impacting them. 

With such rapid developments, businesses are increasingly relying on their Internal Communications team to quickly disseminate information to employees. For many companies, Human Resources or Communications takes the lead in those efforts.

Deena Harvanek is Dallas Office Business Leader with Mercer, an HR consulting firm. Here are Harvanek's top 5 takeaways.

  1. Internal communication leaders need to be prepared to respond quickly in any communication plan. It's important to do so through a defined leveraged network in a meaningful, transparent way. This is even more critical in a large crisis, during uncertain times. "As with our current crisis – COVID-19, employees at all levels, from leaders to the front line, are adjusting to a new 'normal,'  at home and at work," said Harvanek. "Cutting through the clutter and focusing attention on what really matters, be it professional or personal, is a key internal communications function."
  2. An overarching key message platform should be established for internal communications and consistently delivered from all levels of the organization. Employees look to Internal Communications to own the message for all things people-related, including how a crisis may impact their job and well-being. 
  3. The brevity of the crisis should guide the frequency of communication. Internal Communications may only need initial outreach, followed up by manager-level outreach to employees. "As our current crisis evolves daily, the need is for HR and leaders to communicate often, feeling like they are bordering on over communicating," said Harvanek.
  4. In today’s dynamic world, staying connected has never been more important. For organizations to thrive, leaders must ensure an employee experience that allows people to perform at their best. And that means continuously sourcing strategic insight from, and about, their people.
  5. Feedback options, such as crowdsource insights and targeted pulsing, allow organizations to stay connected. Fast, flexible, digital solutions provide meaningful and timely insight to inform decisions that drive engagement, connectivity and performance.

Interested in learning the latest information and analysis on the COVID-19 crisis and its economic impact? Visit our COVID-19 Business Forum to watch our latest webinars and register for upcoming events. 

Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 

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