When a crisis happens, there can be a large variety of reactions within the company. One of the main roles of Human Resources is to inform its employees clearly and efficiently. 7 steps can be taken in order to assure a smooth communication to your employees.
The central responsability of HR is to offer tools for the management to face a crisis in order to adress the needs of its employees the best way possible.
Strangely enough, one of the first important thing to do about informing the employees is to listen to them. In order for them to be receptive to your message, you need to show them that you are ready to hear their voice.
Employees need to be heard
Human resources have to make sure that the manager reponsible is there in time of crisis for their employees. They need to be able to voice their concern, worry or interrogation. While you listen to them, you prepare the ground on which trust will be built. Your following communication will be based on trust. Listening is the first step to take to inform appropriately.
Take a proactive approach
Human Resources need to act. It can not wait and see if a need appears within its employees. It needs to take a proactive approach to communication. It has to anticipate the information process and imagine an internal crisis communication plan.
Plan regular communication
Once the first communication about the crisis has been done, it is very important to set up a regular communication plan. HR has to organize a methodical and regular communication. Even if the situation doesn’t change, it is important to create a communication frame which the employee can look forward to. It enables a more structural approach of the crisis and enable a rhythm to structure the relation between employees and the company.
Use personal language and acknowledge emotions
The communication in times of crisis is different than the regular one. Towards employees, business related exchange needs to be put partially aside, and a more personal approach needs to be taken. The management have to communicate in a more personal way. Emotions are an integral part of a crisis. Furthermore, it needs to acknowledge the emotions of its employees. They too, will communicate in a less formal and more personal way.
Put yourself in the other’s shoe
Human resources while communicating need to imagine how its employees feel. It is very important that the management put itself in his audience’s shoe. Empathy is crucial and it will resonate in the way HR will communicate.
Be transparent and factual
Even though the different above advices are essential, while communicating about the crisis itself, it is crucial to remain transparent and factual. You need to leave only the minimum room for interpretation. Wondering is probably single worst thing an employee can do in these times, so it is very important to be transparent. If it is not possible, then you have to explain clearly why.
Employees are probably going to be the single biggest determinant in how fast and how well an organization recovers from a crisis. So, it is imperative that you keep them well informed, that you care about them, you anticipate their needs, and to be ready to go a little bit off-track in order to accompany them during those uncertain times.
I would be curious to know what you think?
Do you what any tip to share?