Immediate actions to mitigate anxiety and uncertainty

Content Management

  • Establish a single point of contact for all COVID-19 related content requests
  • Develop a governance process to evaluate priority of all inbound requests, determine most effective vehicle and assign content owner
  • Identify specific SMEs for all core COVID-19 related topics and coordinate all content development and approvals with those individuals
  • Develop and utilize a channel selector tool to provide consistent guidance to assign types of information to types of publication
  • Create a repository for communicators to access all final drafts

 


Organizational Communication

  • Develop a devoted COVID-19 microsite to serve as a single source of truth
  • Develop short summary papers and FAQ documents detailing policy and providing background on critical topics
  • Summarize general COVID-19 related developments to honor employees’ hunger for credible information
  • Develop a predictable cadence for newsletters, executive messages and microsite updates and communicate expectations
  • Host regular calls for top leaders (e.g. VP & above) dedicated to COVID-19 updates

 


Listening

  • Create short pulse survey (<5 minutes) to be distributed to samples of employees (~500) every week to track confidence, anxiety and engagement
  • Give managers intake guides to identify employee issues and quickly surface those to top leaders
  • Assemble focus group participants and/or established employee communication council to provide deeper insight to high level empirical findings

 


Wellbeing

  • Create a library of wellbeing resources (e.g. guides to mindfulness, yoga, “six minute workouts”, meditation, etc.)
  • Create contests to promote activity, such as a daily steps challenge
  • Experiment with wellness activities at the beginning and/or end of meetings (moments of gratitude, recognition, reflection, breathing, etc.)
  • Help executives model wellbeing priorities (reinforce work-life balance, promote exercise, be comfortable showing emotion and vulnerability)
  • Publish external resources, such as mental health hotlines

 


Executive visibility

  • Identify a C-Suite executive with credibility, appetite and communication skills to serve as public face of response
  • Develop “signature vehicle” suited to that leader’s authentic communication style (virtual town hall, video, short podcast series, email, etc.)
  • Utilize executives to show commitment to work-life balance and support for the “whole employee” (e.g. videos of executives reading children’s books)
  • Demonstrate commitment to new digital collaboration tools by executive relentless adoption (Slack, Teams, etc.)

 


Manager support

  • Create a dedicated manager microsite (if one doesn’t exist) or convert existing platform to COVID-19 focus
  • Prepare resource library with articles, tip sheets, meeting guides on how to practice empathy, communicate transparently and connect decision-making to purpose
  • Pre-populate resources for various business continuity scenarios
  • Daily digest: special newsletter released each day recapping key messages and new resources (no more than 5) and providing outlook for upcoming milestones
  • Create manager-specific channels/forums in digital workspaces

 


Remote work enablement

  • Create instruction resources for all technological matters of remote work (checking computers out of office space, establishing direct deposit, etc.)
  • Establish a “white glove service” center for IT support for employees utilizing remote work technology for the first time, or struggling to set up home office spaces
  • Develop a remote work onboarding program for both new hires and existing employees
  • Adopt “open sync calendar” system to help employees block availability during periods where they have personal constraints
  • Publish resources in newsletters with tips for effectively working from home

 


Virtual engagement

  • Create events such as digital coffee shops, digital water coolers and digital happy hours to capture the community of the office online
  • Reinforce rewards and recognition programs to ensure employees feel seen, recognized and valued while working from home
  • Utilize mobile apps to share news and foster community in the absence of personal proximity
  • Create personal interest Slack/Teams channels

 


Do you have questions or ideas to share? Send us an email.