Communicating With Employees During A Crisis

Crisis communication extends far beyond the spreading of important messages to the public. It also involves communicating with your employees when different problems arise. To execute a crisis communication strategy successfully, you need to know how to distribute information to your staff efficiently, and also be able to determine what information they need to know. If you have not taken this into consideration for your current crisis communication plan, here are a few tips to help you make necessary adjustments that will help boost productivity if disaster strikes.

1. Treat employees like they are your most important stakeholders (because they are)

Before you release any prepared messages to the public, always talk with your employees first. It's possible that they can give the crisis management team a different perspective on the issue at hand, and they might even be able to offer helpful solutions. Your employees are your front-line workers, and they'll know better than anyone else what might've gone wrong.

2. Increase employee communication amongst them

Make sure all of your employees, even across different departments are in communication with each other. When something goes wrong, everyone should know about it, and if the problem is a minor one, then there is a chance your employees may be able to resolve the issue on their own.  You can even create an online forum or group chat where your employees can easily and quickly communicate with each other.

3. Provide transparency into the issue and the solution

Although it may not be necessary to divulge every bit of information concerning a problem with your employees, it is important to give them enough information for them to understand what is going on and what you'll be doing about it. Your employees should never feel confused or like you are keeping them in the dark. Doing so can create trust issues and hinder company morale.

4. Give your employees a role

Train your staff to know what you expect of them during a crisis, making sure they know how to prepare for different situations. Giving them a pivotal role will give them feel a sense of authority within the company. Keep everyone up to date with periodic employee meetings to ensure everyone has the latest updates on your current crisis strategy.

Engaging your employees in the earliest stages of a crisis should be a part of any risk management strategy. To best manage a crisis, be sure that employees are all aware of the crisis and the communications response as soon as possible.