Effective internal crisis communication is crucial
Your most important stakeholder in a crisis is your employees. Poor communication can make it difficult to manage an external crisis. The lack of trust, employee turnover, and poor customer relations can all lead to problems.
Your employees are your frontline to the outside world. Make sure they are informed, up to date and actively involved in the organization’s response. For ideas on internal crisis communication – during, after and after a crisis – read on.
Communication between employees is key to avoiding a crisis.
Crises appear to be coming from nowhere. Crises are often the result of poor practices or problems that have been simmering for a while. They may not have been known by your leadership, but they are almost certain to have been discovered by your employees.
At least once per year, remind people about the policies and procedures your organization has. Tell them, for example, about your financial and security policies. Also, what to do if you have a problem.
It is possible to raise the profile of important messages. A great visual way to increase the visibility of important messages is digital signage on screensavers. Consider legal compliance, financial compliance and health and safety. A compliance desktop alert is another way to make sure employees acknowledge and read important messages. An anonymous forum on-line that allows employees to post can allow them to ‘blow the whistle’, bring up smothering issues and help you address them before they escalate into a crisis.
Effective internal crisis communication requires planning.
Establish internal crisis communication channels.
Before a crisis strikes, ensure that your internal crisis communication channels are ready. It is not the right time to ask your IT team to create a new discussion forum, or train your employees on how to use communications channels.
You should ensure that the internal crisis communication channels you choose to communicate with your employees digitalconnectmag are simple to use, efficient, and easy to activate and manage.
Not just one, but several channels for internal crisis communication are available. Some channels might not work depending on the nature and severity of the crisis so make sure you have redundancy.
These are some possible crisis communication channels that you might consider:
Desktop alerts are a quick way to send messages to employees who use computers.
Message reporting tools allow you to see which employees have received the messages and can identify gaps in your coverage. These gaps could indicate that your computer network may be down in an area, and you should find another way to communicate with employees. These desktop alerts can be backed up with digital signage screensavers and desktop newsfeeds to keep employees updated on the progress.
In advance, set up blogs and discussion forums on’sleeping’. Target the employees you wish to reach and give them the rights (e.g. View, Read, Comment, and Choose Moderators. Click to activate the blog or discussion forum when you are ready. Your moderator will be notified on their desktop when an employee comments. Other communication channels can be activated quickly as well (e.g. Desktop alerts, desktop newsfeeds, and digital signage on screensaver can be used to quickly activate other communication channels (e.g.
Social media can be used to communicate with your employees.
Because they fear that social media channels will become an ‘on-line complaint desk’, some organizations are reluctant to set up social media channels within their organization. This is a legitimate concern. You cannot ignore employees’ dissatisfaction by refusing to listen. Many crises begin as small, simmering issues that people choose to ignore. These issues can be brought to the forefront using social media. Although they can create more work for you in the short-term, they allow you to keep an eye on your internal pulse and react quickly to any issues.
Before you go, identify your target audience.
You can target employee groups with an internal communication solution.
Get to know people and encourage them to collaborate.
You can set up a crisis management group as one of your target messaging channels with an internal crisis communication solution. You can quickly and easily communicate with the crisis team when an emergency occurs. A secure discussion forum can be set up in advance for the crisis team so they can share their ideas during a crisis. These features will allow you to quickly respond to the crisis.
Plan messages and scenario planning ahead.
You can create different messages ahead of time, target them to the appropriate employees, and then store them without publishing. You can quickly update your messages and send them to the appropriate employees when there is a crisis.
When crisis strikes
Communicate and make decisions quickly
In times of crisis, it is crucial to make quick and effective decisions. Making the right decision at the right moment can often require bringing together people from different time zones. An online discussion forum can help here. It can be set up ahead of time and activated quickly when it is needed. To restrict access, use the security and targeting features. When you are done using the messages, delete them or archive them.
Tell your employees as soon as you make your decision. They will be more likely to support your decisions if they understand the reasoning behind them. A desktop alert for approval can be helpful, especially if multiple people need to approve messages before they go. To quickly sign off, you can use the recurrence settings. This will allow you to quickly sign off messages and send them to employees.