In today’s uprooted COVID-19 work environment, employees need to hear from employers. And they’re waiting for it. These four words should describe your COVID-19 employee communications.

Be proactive.

Employers should communicate with employees about work-from-home and travel guidelines, time-keeping and important benefits, like coverage for COVID-19 screening and testing, telehealth options and EAP.  We’ve helped companies create COVID-19 FAQs, one-page benefits resources and weekly COVID/work updates.

Be responsive.

Employees are worried, so they have questions. It’s important to respond to those in a timely manner, even if your answer is “We don’t know yet” or “We’re working on it.” Employees understand there are a lot of unknowns in these unprecedented times and your transparency will build loyalty and trust that will benefit you both now and in the future.

Be connected.

Communications needs to go beyond just informing employees of company news and benefits updates. Encourage managers to regularly connect with teams—and about more than just work. We know one company who organized a Zoom workout, where nearly 20 team members from the U.S. and the U.K logged on to exercise together. Another team—an IT help desk used to working in close proximity—all logged in for a WebEx lunch, complete with lunches, dogs and whoever else happened to pop onto the screen to say hello. These simple (and free) examples continue to foster teamwork during this time of being disconnected (physically) from one another.

Be compassionate.

EVERYONE is affected in some manner. Your employees are dealing with job changes, children, elderly parents, financial constraints, stress, loneliness or anxiety—the list includes multiple things for most people. So, remember that as you reach out, you want to work to build an environment where your employees truly feel that “we’re all in this together.”

Companies that make employee communications a priority during COVID-19 will have adaptable and committed employees to show for it on the other side of this.

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