Internal communication in a crisis situation should focus first on the well-being of employees, and then on how employees can help the organization to recover.
Employees, like all other audiences, need to know that you care before they will care what you know. One of your initial message points should be along the lines of, “Our immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of all of our employees.” If all employees are safe and sound, say so. If you don’t know, say so and promise to update them as soon as you do know. If there have been injuries or loss of life, say so with compassion. If the situation is still dangerous, pledge to make things safe for employees before allowing them to return to work.
Once you’ve established care and compassion, then you can move on to messaging about the organization’s confidence and commitment to resolving the crisis, how employees can help the organization to recover more quickly, and how employees can help protect the organization’s brand image.
Employees are key to an organization recovering from a crisis as fully and as quickly as possible. In the rush to reach external audiences quickly, make sure your organization doesn’t forget to reach out early and often to its own employees with care and compassion.
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