Navigating through COVID-19: Communicate Early, Communicate Often
By Heba Eid
We live in troubling times that have drastically altered our daily lives and the way we do business. COVID-19 has spread to every country now. The worldwide pandemic and city-wide lockdowns have left everyone thinking of the worst possible ‘doom and gloom’ scenario.
The whole world is encouraged to stay safe: self-isolate, stay at home, and to wash their hands often. And as people comply with nationwide lockdowns, they are fearful, and that fear, if left unchecked, can quickly spiral out of control. And that’s why it’s highly encouraged to communicate earlyand communicate often.
At CEQUENS, this is now our third week working remotely and we are very fortunate to have been able to do so with all our global teams and offices.
Communicating through Critical Times
By establishing a line of communication with your customers, employees, and the wider community, you instill trust, eliminate mixed messaging, and inspire hope that, together, we can weather the storm.
So who should you communicate with, in times like these? We’ve come up with a list of key stakeholders who should be in the knowhow of business life.
1. Communicate with Your Customers
In these uncertain times, nothing is definite anymore. Lockdowns, curfews, limited working hours, and remote working have changed everything. Without clear communication from businesses, people are often left in the dark about the most basic of things. Banks, supermarkets, daycares, hospitals, governmental institutions, public transportation, ride-sharing services have all changed their mode of operations and communication here is imperative.
Some of the most frequently asked questions a business or an institution may get include:
What’s the company’s business continuity plan?
What are the store/business/bank opening hours?
What’s the business operation schedule?
Who do I contact for support issues?
Are there any delays in order/delivery?
How can I pay the monthly installment/loan?
As the COVID-19 situation evolves around us and as measures taken by each country vary, the timeliness of all communiques is detrimental to its usefulness to the end-users.
2. Communicate with Your Employees
In the early stages of the #StayHome, #StaySafe campaign, and lockdowns, businesses had to effectively communicate the new way of working. Organization leaders had to take into consideration working parents, the kids' voices in the background, and internet connectivity disruptions. All communiques at that time included:
Business continuity plan
Working from home policies and procedures
Ways to communicate
How to keep track of working hours
Ways of contacting IT departments
Ways to stay in touch
What to do next...
At this stage of the pandemic, chances are you’re reading this post from the comfort of your own home. Businesses, whether large or small, have transitioned their teams to work remotely. Most meetings are now held on Zoom, Microsoft teams, or their likes.
And while this significantly lowers the spread of infection, it often leaves employees isolated, and much more in need to hear from the management and even fellow employees. The nature of questions varies significantly from the early stage but is nonetheless essential to ensure employees' productivity.
Business updates. How has the business been impacted?
How to get the necessary help if needed.
What to do if you feel sick?
Tracking of COVID-19 – latest alerts and updates from CDC and WHO
Who is in charge of employees’ health and safety?
Are there any new cases of COVID-19 in the office?
Technology-related tips and tricks.
CEQUENS Can Help
We are doing our best to serve our global customers in these unprecedented times. We’ve enacted our own measures to combat the virus and we are happy to serve you online. Our highly resilient and always available CEQUENS Communication Platform is available with a click of a button for you to get started.
We are all navigating in unchartered territory as the pandemic takes us all for a swirl. It is our hope that we can bring the virus to heel with as minimal damage as possible. Until then, stay home everyone.