The current Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the entire world off gear and disrupted the global economy in a big way. It is not a matter of surprise that presently every individual is leading a life of uncertainty, both – health-wise and financial condition-wise.
These are testing times for all, especially for employees who continuously fear what tomorrow holds in store for them. Under pandemic and invariable lockdown, almost all the businesses across the world have suffered, forcing them to lay off their employees to deal with losses incurred. Thus, those who are fortunate enough to hold on to their jobs look up to their leaders for support and assurance.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION DURING CRISIS
- Frequent communication: Please remember that all the employees are not alike. Some can grasp the instructions first, whereas others may need the core messages to be repeated for reassurance. For example, under the current pandemic crisis, if the leader cites examples from the past telling how the company had soared like a phoenix from those difficult times, it gives a renewed hope and confidence to the employees. They, too, feel that this phase will pass by without affecting them or the establishment. Reassuring and motivational talks are the need of the hour to keep the employee’s commitment intact towards the company.
- Feedbacks are healthy: Never discourage the employees from voicing their views. On the contrary, an employee’s comment can give you an insight into the highlights and drawbacks of management. Many shy away from this activity, fearing being targeted and losing jobs. Create a platform for the employees to feel comfortable talking either one-to-one with the leader or with an HR representative or anonymous suggestion channel. The crucial part is, make a note of the comments and discuss and implement the suggestions.
- Make work-from-home effective: Working in the office in a set environment and working at home with plenty of distractions (children, elders, household chores) can affect the performance of the employee. If possible, try and give similar facilities like headsets, chairs, monitors, and desks to create a workplace atmosphere. Be considerate towards the employee’s predicament instead of insisting on a video conference and communicating through the phone.
- Reassurance about job security: When a leader, you know that the pandemic crisis has not affected the company’s finances, pass that reassurance to the employees, informing them that their jobs are secure. However, if things are otherwise, then be good enough to give them advance intimation about possible future consequences so that they can make alternate arrangements and not suffer at the last minute.
- Portray a positive plan: An organization without a vision is not worth working for. Amidst the air of uncertainty and panic, the leader should comfort and assure the employees that the company is in the directors and top officials’ safe hands. Discuss the organization’s plans and appreciation for those who have contributed to the plans. This discussion is bound to create a feeling that the company cares for them, and they work with renewed vigor.
There are always ups and downs in life. The same applies to the workplace, and everyone is feeling the heat and effects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, effective communication with the employees during this crisis can change the picture and work in favor of growth and prosperity.