The Ultimate COVID-19 Workplace Communication Plan 

Your workplace communication needs to fit your employees’ needs. Follow these steps to develop an ultimate workplace communication plan during COVID-19.

May 8, 2020 By Sara Ana Cemazar Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!
workplace communication importance
workplace communication

As the way we work has changed during COVID-19 outbreak, one thing became clear: workplace communication is key to employees’ ability to deliver their best work, stay connected, safe and informed. Companies want to ensure compliance to special safety policies and keep their employees’ morale afloat while they face uncertainties related to their future. 

Keeping physical distance between each other has put emphasis on importance of workplace communication. When done right, it results with outstanding benefits. During this crisis, workplace communication has an immense influence on your employee experience. 

👉 Keep on reading to find out how to enhance your workplace communication during crisis. Also, get these COVID-19 related editable email templates to ensure proper communication with your employees during crisis. 

employee-emails-COVID-19

The Rising Importance of Workplace Communication 

The HR community’s focus on workplace communication has been going on for a while. Many studies have shown benefits of proper communication within an organization. For example, companies with connected employees report improvement of their productivity by 25%.  

Moreover, workplace communication is intertwined with employee engagement and contributes to overall employee experience in a company. Still, many organizations miss the mark on the importance of workplace communication. According to Gallup, 74% of employees feel that they’re missing out on company information and news. 

To put matters into current perspective – COVID-19 situation has shown the tremendous impact of workplace communications on employees. During this crisis, employees depend on timely and accurate information regarding special company policies.  

Furthermore, since 61% of employees work from home in the US alone, it is even more important to facilitate employee collaboration. 20% of remote workers say collaboration and communication are their biggest struggle 

remote work struggles

Considering the ways COVID-19 is disrupting employee success, such as working from home with children or increased levels of stress caused by uncertainty, improving workplace communication is currently the #1 way you can help your employees do their best workBy providing important company updates and enabling smooth collaboration, you will minimize the effect that COVID-19 has on your workplace. 

👉 Make sure to also check out 20+ workplace management tools you should use during COVID-19. 

How to Optimize Workplace Communication During Crisis 

One thing is sure – your employees will remember your company’s response to COVID-19. According to research by Josh Bersinjob security is #1 issue on 54% of employees’ minds. This is not surprising, especially if your company’s industry is suffering from the consequences. 

job security

However, you can positively affect your employees’ uncertainty and facilitate productive atmosphere by optimizing your workplace communication. If you follow these steps, you will ensure that your employees remember your company’s response to this crisis as a well-prepared one. 

1. Set up a clear crisis communication plan 

First things first – you need to plan your communication efforts. Decide through which channels will you update your company’s news, how often, and who are the people involved. 

You should make sure that your messaging is consistent across all channels and for all the audiences – including employees, customers and key stakeholders. It is easy for your employees to notice the discrepancies between what you tell them and what you tell your customers, so take care of aligning your messages. 

employee communication in crisis

The most important thing with crisis communication is to react in timely manner, meaning as soon as possible. By regularly updating your employees on company news related to COVID-19, you will prevent speculation and keep your workplace communication at the highest level. 

2. Get your leaders on board 

As explained earlier, your employees are facing a lot of uncertainties these days and are mostly worried about their job security. Therefore, it would be best to include C-level executives and leadership in your workplace communication strategy. Usually, HR Business Partners can help your leaders understand the importance of their involvement in your organization’s crisis communication strategy. 

An email, video or virtual talk with your company’s leaders could do wonders for your employeesA majority of 81% of employees believe that CEOs who engage on social media are better equipped to lead companiesand 84% think that CEOs can build better relationship with employees by having social media presence. 

CEO communication

👉 Furthermore, your leadership’s involvement in your overall communication strategy improves your brand image and shows transparency. Also, look at how companies across the world are taking care of their employees during COVID-19 for inspiration. 

3. Implement the right employee communication technology 

Not only do you need to send the right messages to your employees, you need to make sure they read it. There are various ways you can reach your workforce – via email, social media and internal communication channels.  

It is very important to ensure that your employees actually read the most important messages related to COVID-19. You can accomplish that by segmenting your audience and collaborating with professionals within your company who will adjust your messaging. 

👉 See how our employee communications software Nurture can help you keep your workplace connected during crisis. 

Product icon

Keep your workplace informed with Nurture.

3. Understand your employees’ needs and concerns 

If you don’t know what your employees are thinking, you may miss the mark on what they need at this moment. In general, employee surveys are a great way to check your employee’s pulse, and this is something you need to do as often as possible during crisis. 

Therefore, ask away! Ask your employees about their biggest struggles and concerns and ask how you can help them do their best work. Employee survey solution such as SurveyRocks is now much needed to plan on how to support your employees during crisis. 

👉 To help you out, we’ve created 5 employee survey templates you can send out to your employees during COVID-19Show your employees that they can count on you and that you are here for them in these hard times. 

employee-surveys-COVID-19

4. Regularly share important company updates 

Timing is key! You are probably aware of how important it is to share special company policies and company updates during this crisis. Companies have started notifying their employees on change in procedures and office policies as soon as it become vital to their employees’ health. 

However, it is important to still regularly share important company news. As explained earlier, employees are mostly worried about this crisis’ effect on their job security. Therefore, prevent speculation that leads to more uncertainty and high stress levels by sharing important company updates on regular basis. 

5. Create engaging and fun content 

The content you share needs to be engaging when the format allows it, and fun when appropriate. For example, you should try enriching your content with videos, pictures and infographicsDo not stick to only plain text messages that can get lost in your employees’ inbox. 

👉 Here’s an idea: invite your employees to contribute to your team blog. Ask them to write an article of their work experience during crisis and publish it on company’s website. You can use it for employer branding purposes as well.  

employee engagement

6. Measure the impact of your workplace communication strategy 

For all of the steps mentioned above to work properly, you need to measure the impact of your workplace communication strategy. Once again, this is where Employee Communications Software is very useful. 

You need to know what kind of content your employees want during this crisis. Is it more company updates, or do they prefer some fun content to lighten the mood? Do your employees read your emails? How long do they interact with it – do they just skim through the message, or read it carefully? 

All of these are the questions you need an answer to if you want your workplace communication strategy to bring the best results during COVID-19. Communication in the workplace contributes to your employees’ success, and ever more so now that their work is disrupted. 

7. Facilitate employee feedback 

During crisis, your priorities regarding workplace communication should definitely be sharing company updates and facilitating employee collaboration. However, be aware that the way your employees work and communicate has been disrupted and that you may have to encourage more of employee feedback. 

For teams that work remotely, solutions like FeedBck provide opportunity to give continuous employee feedback. In the end, more feedback leads to more productivity, as your employees will know what exactly they’re doing right. Moreover, Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees, and they will soon comprise most of the world’s workforce. 

millennials in the workplace

Also, be aware that your managers might not be comfortable giving feedback. Make sure to provide them training on how to give positive employee feedback and explain all the benefits it will have on their relationship, too. 

8. Create company culture that supports open communication 

Your workplace communication also depends on your company culture. Is the work atmosphere in your company oriented towards open communication? If not, communication and collaboration among your employees will be negatively impacted during this crisis. 

To encourage company culture that supports open communication, you can try encouraging more of employee recognition. With solutions such as JobPts, you can create employee recognition programs to appreciate your employees for their hard work and contributions during COVID-19. Overall, employee recognition will positively impact your employees’ relationships with each other and contribute to your company’s success. 

👉 Check out how you can recognize your employees during COVID-19 with JobPts. 

Product icon

Recognize and reward your employees with JobPts.

How Workplace Communication Impacts Employee Experience 

Workplace communication is one of the most contributing factors to your employee experience. Remember, employee experience takes into account everything an employee encounters in a workplace 

We can all agree that workplace communication is a vital part of all the stages throughout employee lifecycle. From the moment your employees start working in your company, they need to know how onboarding works. Their tasks, education and contacts need to be communicated to them to allow for new hires’ productivity. 

Furthermore, your employees will be more engaged in an environment that allows them to efficiently collaborate with others. Teamwork is one of the main traits of today’s workplaces, and it will keep intensifying in years to come. 

Finally, your workplace communication needs to encourage higher-ups to give feedback and incite employees to give feedback to their peersAll of these efforts combined will result in creating an open communication culture, which will improve your employees’ experience in your organization. 

Free Workplace Communication Platform 

During these challenging times, Semos Cloud is offering our workplace communication platform Nurture free of charge for the first 3 months. You can also try out our Recognition and Rewards Platform JobPts, Employee Surveys app SurveyRocks and Employee Enablement app BoardFlo for free. 

Furthermore, we are providing materials and ideas to our customers, helping them to keep their employees safe, healthy and compliant to special policies during COVID-19. 

Check out products that are free of charge for the first 3 months of use and schedule a demo to see how you can adapt to the COVID-19 challenges in the workplace with our help. 

JobPts – employee recognition & rewards  

SurveyRocks – employee surveys    

BoardFlo – employee collaboration & productivity  

Nurture – employee communications