Organizations that suddenly find themselves in a crisis situation typically worry about the potential damage to their public image. Many focus on the news media and overlook their own employees. But it is employees who help the organization recover as fully and as quickly as possible. And it is employees who best represent the brand in their face-to-face interactions with customers.
Ineffective employee communication during a crisis slows or even halts recovery and causes damage to an organization’s brand. Ill-informed and confused employees can’t respond to a crisis or to customers appropriately. However, highly effective employee communication causes an organization to emerge from a crisis even stronger.
Here are five ways effective employee communication can help your organization during a crisis:
- Clear, concise, timely, accurate and consistent employee messaging allows employees to provide appropriate and quick responses. This saves an organization time and money by helping employees eliminate mistakes and inefficiencies in their recovery efforts. Effective employee communication prevents crises from becoming disasters.
- Credible information reduces or eliminates rumors and false information. Even if facts aren’t immediately available, letting employees know that you are aware of the situation and that communications are forthcoming will position the organization as a credible information source.
- Letting employees know how well their organization is responding to a crisis enhances leadership credibility and builds trust in the organization. Employees are proud to work for organizations that do the right thing, especially during a crisis.
- Open and honest communication shapes employee perceptions about the organization and thus boosts motivation and long-term employee engagement.
- Effective employee communication motivates employees to act as brand champions in their interactions with customers as well as their families, friends and others in the community. Employees protect an organization’s public image from the inside out.
Crises are inevitable and every organization needs a crisis communication plan. Make sure yours includes your employees as a key audience.
What benefits of effective employee communication during a crisis would you add?
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