On the 20th of February, the stock market began to crash. On the 27th of February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Index, and the NASDAQ-100 all fell into a correction that brought upon one of the worst trading weeks since the financial crisis of 2008.
As the corona-virus spreads through the globe, companies and businesses are reeling from the losses that have undoubtedly affected the livelihood of many workers.
In light of these events, steps must be taken. Strategies need to be drawn up to find the best way to deal with this crisis and others as well. Many important ideas need attention however one that must be at the top of the list of any strategy is communication.
Executives and management must establish a firm method of communication with their employees. Not only is their physical health and livelihood at risk, their mental health as well would be strained due to all the stress. What follows are a couple of ideas that might help.
1) Establish Clear Channel
Word of mouth travels and one thing you want to avoid for sure is rumors spreading between employees about what’s to come from management. To avoid unnecessary stress or unrest, it’s essential to make sure that all staff know exactly where to get their updates. This should be in a clear and visible place whatever that platform may be according to each business.
2) Involving Staff in Decision-Making
It’s important to make some decisions while involving staff. In dire situations, some sacrifices might need to be made and when it’s for the collective good, chances are things will run smoother. One example is when instead of letting people go, employees began working on part time hours and helping each other by organizing the best hours for them.
3) Constant Updates
Updates must be on a regular basis and not sporadic so to limit the chances of misinformation. A typical action plan would be to provide a steady stream of information to limit confusion and disarray.
4) Centralized Communication
Decentralization is the modern and efficient method of establishing connections especially in large companies and organizations. However, in a crisis, you need a single centralized team that will expedite decision-making that acts as a crisis-response team.
5) Avoid False Hope
It can be daunting trying to calm down a frightful crowd. After all, during a crisis, panic is the most common response. One might be tempted to reassure their staff beyond the facts. It is imperative to provide the most accurate, detailed updates from the best credible sources. This is necessary to best ensure employees can properly respond to the situation. Always be clear if the information is prone to change or be updated soon.
Similar to the previous point, communicate to your staff with clarity the reality of the challenges no matter how complicated or difficult they are. Provide all the relevant material to their situation. Facilitate any procedures that will follow.
Be sure to follow all WHO and CDC guidelines as well as government policies regarding crises.
Wash your hands regularly, engage in social distancing but don’t lose touch. In times like these, unity and community are needed to face the challenge ahead.