Comment communiquer en interne sur le coronavirus ?

Internal Communication

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!

Communicate internally about coronavirus to avoid panic

77% of French companies have not yet taken action against coronavirus

QAPA 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!

9 good practices for organising your internal communication about coronavirus

1. Communicate early about coronavirus: prevention rather than reaction

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.

2. Remind employees of their individual responsibility

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:

  • Wash your hands every hour
  • Avoid close contact
  • Do not touch your face
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid kissing and shaking hands
  • Wear a mask

If you want to communicate well internally about coronavirus, you must therefore inform your employees on barrier actions to adopt.

3. Reassure employees by sharing prevention videos

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.

4. Implement concrete actions against coronavirus and communicate about it internally

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.

5. Designate a contact person to communicate internally about coronavirus

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.

6. Cancel business travel and encourage working from home

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.

7. Listen to employees to support them properly during the Covid-19 crisis

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.

8. Communicate about the impact of coronavirus on the company’s health

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.

9. Ensure that all communication messages about coronavirus are passed on internally

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.

Communicate internally about coronavirus: the final word

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.