How do you communicate internally about coronavirus?
All companies are affected by the Covid-19 crisis. They must therefore act through transparent, realistic and optimistic communication with their employees.
How do you communicate internally about coronavirus? Find out in this article!
77% of French companies have not yet taken action against coronavirusQAPA Survey, February 2020
As a company director, you have a responsibility for the health and protection of employees. You must now tackle the issue head on and use your ultimate weapon: internal communication.
In times of crisis, such as Covid-19, this is essential. Indeed, many believe that talking about it will only fuel concern about the epidemic. But it’s quite the opposite! And the media are already doing a great job of it for you…
Coronavirus is present in France, that is a fact. There is no point in pretending that it will leave as quickly as it arrived. Companies that prefer not to stick their necks out by avoiding the subject are wrong. Instead, they risk creating rumours and anxiety among their teams. In 2020, we have a lot of means at our disposal to communicate internally about coronavirus. So why leave them out?
It is up to the director to implement a policy of transparency within their company, but it is also their responsibility when it comes to the health of employees. Good internal communication ensures that employees are united and reassured in good times and in crisis situations. So don’t hesitate and take action!
The idea is not to take employees by surprise by putting pressure on them with a whole host of rules to apply when it is already too late.
A company’s duty is to give advance notice so that each employee can make arrangements and that all this can be done calmly and with full knowledge of the facts.
In the context of an epidemic, such as coronavirus, it is essential to remind employees of their individual responsibility. You have to protect yourself to keep the collective informed.
In its dedicated article, Le Point gives 6 reflexes to adopt:
If you want to communicate well internally about coronavirus, you must therefore inform your employees on barrier actions to adopt.
The French government has published mini-videos on prevention on its YouTube channel. A good practice is to share them on your internal communication tool: they will reassure and be accessible to all.
Provide hydroalcoholic solutions, no more kissing at work, regular airing of the offices, etc.: it is important to implement concrete actions within the company to fight against the spread of the virus. For them to be effective, you need to inform employees via your internal communication tool.
But be careful not to over-communicate either, or your employees may not be as attentive to your messages. You need to be impactful and relevant in your messages.
To demonstrate that your company is vigilant, it may be a good idea to appoint someone to monitor the epidemic and communicate internally about coronavirus. This person will be responsible for monitoring information (twice a day for example) on the public health, WHO or government.fr/info-coronavirus site. In this way, they will be able to provide a link between employees and the medical authorities.
Whether regarding business trips abroad to risk areas or company seminars, the government recommends cancelling such gatherings planned in the short term.
Similarly, inform your employees about the option of working from home to avoid any risk of contamination. Do not hesitate to communicate the various steps to be taken within your company.
In order to support employees, you have to listen to them: listen to their fears, their doubts, their questions and above all be able to provide answers to reassure them.
Be proactive in setting up discussion areas where people can ask questions throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Apart from the medical aspect, coronavirus also has implications for the health of companies, particularly if they are international.
Employees are concerned by this type of information and, once again, we must be transparent. If this epidemic has an economic impact on your company (e.g. procurement), your teams should be informed.
In times of crisis, the priority is to inform all employees. It is the company’s duty! Indeed, just because we don’t work in front of a computer all day doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the same level of information as others.
Therefore, communicating well internally about coronavirus also means ensuring that every message is perfectly conveyed to all employees.
A crisis situation, such as that of Covid-19, poses organisational and management problems. Nevertheless, you now know how to communicate internally about coronavirus. Once you have identified and anticipated solutions, you need to inform your employees to show that you are proactive and concerned about their health.
The challenge now is to find a good compromise between information and prevention without over-communicating at the risk of distressing your employees.