How to improve internal communication during times of crisis

Hester Gras

All over the world, employees are working from home to limit the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Organizations consider the health and safety of their employees and relations priority number one and are taking measures to minimize the impact on the continuity of their business. Internal communication is crucial to keep employees informed at all times and to guarantee business can continue as effective and efficiently as possible. This blog gives you advice on how to communicate internally and how to stimulate communication between employees and management during these times of crisis. We’ve divided our advice in five different tips.

One place with all information

Make it as easy as possible for your employees to find the latest information about the measures your organization is taking to respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus. By creating a dedicated space or a ‘tile’ in the employee app that is 24/7 easily accessible, your employees know where to find the latest information and can read previously shared information.

You could also think of a ‘sticky’ article on the homepage of your employee platform. When you use a ‘sticky’ article that you continuously update make sure to put the date and timestamp in the title of the article. It helps your employees to know if they have already read it or not.

If a new article is published, make sure it will show up in the notification centre of the app. Make updates highly visible for your employees, so they keep reading the updates.

 

 

One communication line where your employees can ask questions

As can be found in the first tip, it is smart to dedicate one place to communicate top-down. It’s however important to offer the same bottom-up. Create one line of communications where your employees can ask their questions or where they can express their concerns.

For example, put an open form in your employee app or in the web portal. It allows employees to freely ask questions. It also gives the organization time to respond. By putting it in a clear spot with 24/7 easy access, it will make people feel more secure.

 

 

Learn from your data

It is important to check the usage of your employee platform. Is the number of unique visitors going up? What is the percentage of your possible reach? Are the articles fully read or just browsed?

These kinds of questions can help you to determine if the right audience receives the right information. When you know who you’re reaching and who you’re not, you can try reaching them via different channels.

 

The use of push notifications

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the user numbers went up high. There can especially be seen an increase in the frequency of visits. If you check your data, it could be you’re not seeing any significant difference. It could be the case because your reach was already sky-high, but it could also mean there is room for improvement. You will need to do some extra effort to start reaching more employees. An effective method for that is to send a push notification.

Research among our customers shows that sending a push notification significantly increases the reach of articles. A push notification points to employees exactly when there is something interesting. In case your organization is not using these notifications, employees might look every 5 minutes. When they see there is no update, they feel disappointed and tend to visit anymore. They will end up not reading all the important information available. With push notifications, you’re helping your employees to tell what is important.

 

Facilitating informal content

Besides informing employees and letting them know you are there for them, it is also important to enable informal content sharing between your employees. Among our customers, we see that bringing the “coffee-talk” to a digital environment makes people still feel connected with each other. They are reassured that other people might feel the same and struggle with the same issues. This can be facilitated, for example, per group, location or companywide.

At ORTEC, we try to improve the world by using mathematics and we are continuously supporting our customers. The care for you and your business has our highest priority. We will do our utmost to keep everyone safe while we continue to create value for you with our data-driven decision support.

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