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Practicing Effective Leadership Communication During Times of Crisis

Practicing Effective Leadership Communication During Times of Crisis

Always Be Specific and Clear

In order to minimize confusion among your staff, communicate with your employees in a clear manner. Be as specific as possible when it comes to dos and don’ts. For instance, consider communicating all in person meetings from this point forward are cancelled and will be rescheduled via phone or video conferencing. This command gives your team power to make the appropriate decisions concerning their customer or client meetings. Keep in mind, you’ll want to cover all your bases as any areas left ill-defined will likely result in a misinformed and disjointed staff.

Disseminate Critical Information Swiftly

When delivering bad news to your employees, the best approach is to be straightforward and coherent as well as explain what the next immediate steps are. You don’t want to frighten your staff, but you do want to inform them. They are sure to appreciate and respect your openness.

Consider Setting Up a Separate Channel for Coronavirus Communication

Depending on the size of your company, it may be wise to set up alternate email accounts for everyone. This separate two-way form of communication will help define the changing workplace policies and procedures as a result of the outbreak. Encourage your employees to ask questions. This demonstrates you’re trying to take charge of the situation when your team is uncertain about their newly revised roles and duties.

Outline Expectations for Those Working from Home

Define working hours. Some companies require their employees are online and available during a specific window of time. Conversely, other companies do not have a preference as far as when and how the work is accomplished, so long as it is completed by deadline. Whichever way your company plans on operating, make sure your employees understand what is expected of them. Additionally, communication tools such as email, phone, and Microsoft Teams, are becoming increasingly valuable, so communicate to your employees how they can maximize these tools when working remotely. For example, advise that email communication should be comprehensive, yet brief in order to increase readability and comprehension. As a general rule of thumb, if your email exceeds two paragraphs, call the person directly instead of hitting send. Lastly, data security is a major concern when working out of the office. Remind your employees of the rules regarding handling company data. For instance, some companies do not permit employees to print sensitive materials at home.