Articles 3 min read

How to Reach Your Frontline Employees During a Crisis

This article was a featured article from Monday 20th April 2020 – Monday 18th May 2020.

There is a rising need to quickly contact your employees in times of crisis. From the global spread of viruses, to the changes in weather patterns, or the threats in safety… You need to think about the most effective approach to communicate quickly, effectively, and with a solution or call-to-action in mind.

In crafting the right strategy for your company, it is important to take initial steps in gathering critical information and allocating a team of people to execute your crisis communications plan. Before you begin planning how you will communicate, take the time to assemble necessary information:

□ Gather all employee mobile phone numbers

70% of employees keep their phone “within eye contact” while at work. It is clear that mobile phones are the quickest way to reach your employees. Your message will go straight into the palm of their hands.

□ Allocate a team/person to be the communicator

It is important to make clear who is responsible for sending out the information in an emergency. Make sure the team or person knows the importance of this responsibility and when they should act on it.

□ Determine points of contact

Your point of contact will serve as the person employees can reach out to if they have questions after receiving the crisis communication. Determine who this person is and include their contact information at the end of your crisis messaging.

□ Decide how to reach the “unreachables”

What do you do if people do not read your message? Do you send a follow up or call them instead? These are important questions to consider to make sure everything unfolds as smoothly as possible in case of actual crisis.

□ Draft templates for possible emergencies

To minimize the thought processes during a crisis, it’s best practice to have pre-made templates addressing key emergency topics. Make it so that you would only need to update a few sentences and it would be ready to be pushed out to your employees.

Once you put together the essential information needed to effectively communicate crisis information to your employees , you can proceed to setting up the execution strategy.

□ Make Communication Instant

In times of crisis, saving time is your main goal. Mobile outreach is your most direct solution in reaching employees and works more quickly than emails. Keep the barriers of communication low and momentum high. Seeking out tools that help you push messages to many in an instance may be something to consider.

□ Send in Real Time

Act quickly and do not hesitate or reflect for too long. If you fear your employees may be in danger for any reason, know that communicating information in realtime can ensure their safety.

□ Track Your Data

It is important to track whether an employee has or has not read your communications message to minimize risk and ensure safety.

□ Make it Easy-to-Use

Make sure your method is user-friendly and smooth for your communications team, point of contact, and receiving employees. Not only should the process of sending out the messaging be simple to use, but the response process from employees should be too.

□ Reach All People

Execute your plan for reaching the “unreachables” that you decided in the step before. Most importantly, choose your channels of communications consciously. Perhaps this emergency only affects half your staff, or only office location… Keep your channels and information relevant and specific to the people it is relevant to.

□ Give Employees Call-to-Action or Solution

Find the most fitting call to action for your employees. Perhaps you want them to contact person X to ensure their safety or provide information. Or instead you want them to read an article/document for education purposes on the emergency topic. You decide what is best, but make sure to leave your employee with a call-to-action or solution so they are not left in an alarmed state of mind.

Do not panic, you have this under control. Now that you have a plan in mind and execution steps prepared, take the time to run a test. This is where you will find flaws and errors in your process that you can correct before the critical moment when you may actually need to execute your plan.

Planning for the unexpected will keep you and your employees informed and safer. We hope the day never comes, but if it does, we know you will be prepared.

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The Business Transformation Network has shared this article in partnership with Actimo.

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