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As Sir Richard Branson famously once said, “A company’s employees are its greatest asset…”
Which is why it is critical to support and protect them, particularly during this uncertain time. Whatever your situation – whether your team are working from home, if they’re all keyworkers, or you’ve asked them to do a slightly different job for now or even if they’ve been furloughed – your employees are still your most important assets. It is therefore more important than ever that you keep them engaged, involved and empowered.
Here’s our top tips for keeping your staff engaged:
1. Keep them updated
Times are moving quickly and situations change daily, sometimes even hourly. Make it your priority to keep your team updated first. Schedule daily calls to check in with your team, let them know how any changes affecting the business will affect them, and discuss any issues or challenges they are facing. It’s also important to update the team via email after the call, so there’s a written record of what was discussed and you can add anything extra that you missed or that has developed since then. We like using Microsoft Teams for video calls, so we can see, as well as speak, to each other.
2. Be transparent
You need to share the good, the bad and the in-between… You might not always have answer your team want to hear and there will definitely be times when you won’t know the answer. However, your team deserve the truth, and being transparent, honest and open should be where all communications start from. Give your team the full picture so they can understand the situation. This doesn’t mean you have to share the minute details or any confidential data, but do share what you can so they know where they stand. You don’t want to say it’s all OK and then be furloughing staff or closing your doors. If you keep them updated, they’ll be prepared for what’s to come, and if it’s appropriate, they can also feel a part of the decisions made for the business.
3. Hear what you’re being told and understand their body language
Video calls are great for keeping in touch with your team. Make sure you give your team the opportunity to talk about themselves, their views and how it impacts them or their work. And just as importantly, read their body language too. (Hence, video calls over conference calls.) You can hear what they’re saying, but if they’re thinking something else or their mind is somewhere else, it is important for you to see it so you can pick up on their concerns.
4. Have confidence in your team
You chose your team for a reason. For their skills, their experience, their personalities and the role they play in the team. So, believe in them and trust them with your business. Ask for their help, ask for their opinion and entrust them to do their best for your business, for your clients and for your future…
5. Share in the good times – and the bad
Encourage your team to come forward and share their good news – now is not a time to be coy or keep quiet, people love positive news and it’ll help keep team morale up too. It’s important to celebrate success with your team and right now it’s even more important to keep spirits high. Have a (virtual) drink together, share successes with the team and shout about the awesome work your team is doing! Similarly, it’s important talk about the tough times too. An open discussion about what is going on can help you move forward and analyse the situation more clearly – and your teammates are the perfect people to help you figure out solutions.
6. Have fun!
Times are hard and uncertain right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a laugh and reminisce. Enjoy the little things and don’t be afraid to laugh. We’re all in the same boat, so some things just aren’t worth the tears. Your colleagues have likely already shown you that they’ll support you through this – so embrace this, succeed together, fall together, laugh and cry together, and party together when this is all over! It’s important to let your hair down every now and again, so enjoy the little moments and say “cheers” to your team!
For us ADPR, there’s no better team and no better place to meet, so see you at the Juicy Badger Tavern… (if you know, you know) 🥂🙌
And to quote Mr B once more, “…If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
If you’d like any help with shaping your post Covid 19 marketing communications activity, we are offering a free 15-minute no-obligation discussion with our team of communications experts. To book your free discussion or to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a crisis won’t happen to your business. You are just one click away from giving yourself long term peace of mind with our Crisis Management Success service. We promise it will be worth it!
The Department of Commerce states that 70% of smaller companies go out of business within just one year of experiencing a crisis – we think this is enough of a reason to be prepared! Our Crisis PR 101 guide will give you the tools you need to develop a crisis plan that will protect your business when a crisis strikes. As well as the guide you’ll get top tips from experts to give you more support in building a futureproof plan for your business.