Communicating with Employees and Expats during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Panicked shoppers, remote workers and lockdowns all over the globe- this is the new normal now.
With coronavirus cases surging uncontrollably, many businesses have been forced to shut down leaving thousands of people out of work and wondering how they will weather this unexpected crisis and how long it will last.
If you run a business or hold a leadership position, here are some ways to communicate with your employees and expats during the covid-19 outbreak:
1. Step up your internal communication initiatives through Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts Chat etc
Why is this important? Misinformation and panic have been thriving everywhere since the beginning of this outbreak. People are thoughtlessly sharing and promoting fake cures, conspiracy theories, fear of foreigners and every horrible thing imaginable.
To counter this reckless dissemination of false information, step up your internal communication initiatives during the Covid-19 outbreak. Create a dedicated communication channel to regularly share coronavirus-related updates especially about the cities where your company operates.
Use a chat channel instead of emails as it is more collaborative and allows people to comment and raise questions in real-time.
5. Communicate your sickness and leave policy
Remember that there is a possibility that one of your employees or their family members may become infected.
Have a sickness policy in place even for employees who need to care for their family members
This takes the burden off employees to a large extent and helps them feel supported and at ease.
5. Ask employees to extend their trips if they’re already abroad
Travelling is extremely risky at the moment not to mention difficult. Many countries are on total lockdown and have banned both domestic and international travel.
If any of your employees are already abroad, request them to extend their trip. Book them a suitable furnished rental where they can remain safe and soldier through the quarantine.
6. Encourage employees to share their fears and frustrations
As the world moves towards a recession, there is heightened fear among employees about potential layoffs.
Although layoffs may be beyond your control, have regular check-ins with your employees to allay their fears and provide reassurance whenever possible. Cultivate a safe work atmosphere where they can share their concerns without being ridiculed.
This is crucial for employee morale. Employees are more productive when they’re not constantly anxious and insecure about their future.
By establishing a healthy work environment, you can keep your employees motivated even during these tough times. Foster and encourage a sense of community, belonging and collective responsibility to face the crisis as a team.