3 Steps to Maintaining Business Normalcy within a Crisis
We are currently living under an air of uncertainty. Many organizations have had to fall back to dusty crisis response playbooks and untested continuity plans. Corporate communications professionals, HR business partners, and IT leaders are pressured to maintain the operational status quo under duress.
From the employee perspective, there is immense anxiety – questions around family and wellbeing, financial markets, and the potential of risk of a grave economic downturn and potential layoffs.
From the leadership perspective – the first order of business is communication. Providing clear and concise information around advice, information, and support – to address the questions and concerns employees are bound to have.
1. Communicating and Emphasizing the Contingency Plan
Most companies have business continuity plans in place for emergencies. However, the current pandemic has undoubtedly taken many by surprise. This is an outlier event. It is the job of leadership to dispel as much confusion and false supposition as possible – confusion in the time of crisis leads to poor decision making. Get ahead of the rumors and pretense by communicating daily.
Additionally, you must consider the employee persona. Understanding how employees connect and discover information is crucial to ensuring alignment. Understanding the access points (e.g. desktop, mobile, email dependent, etc.) and workstyles of employees are critical to ensure information is delivered across a spectrum of channels – and following a proper method to centralize news and information. Focusing on the new employee experience is especially crucial as more employees than ever are working from home.
2. Stand Up a Central Hub for Communications and Announcements
Related to step one, ensure there is a central source of official information for the entire company. With many employees connecting remotely (many for the first time) it is critical to ensure there is alignment across teams.
Ideally, this is a single shared area for information, questions, answers, support, and triage. This area could be a point within your Digital Workplace, Intranet, even external web pages – but it should be accessible to all employees. LumApps has addressed this by offering a ‘Crisis Communication’ Solution – especially for organizations currently lacking a fully accessible cloud solution.
3. Ensure Technology Collaboration and Productivity Suites
To ensure business-as-usual continues unhindered it is imperative teams and business units are leveraging cloud-ready tools to maintain productivity. It may come time to use tools that are novel and new. MS Teams (or, Hangouts, Slack, etc.) for example, if that is part of your suite of tools – but not fully adopted – it may be time to implement enablement and direction. Additionally, there may be a tremendous amount of applications that have gone underutilized and require a proper, “What To Use When” guidance. Video conferencing becomes more crucial when face-to-face conversations are no longer possible.
Last, We’re Here to Help
As the current situation develops we will continue to help provide guidance and recommendations for maintaining normalcy. If you need help or support on how to communicate and collaborate better connect with our team of collaboration experts.
US Sales Engineering Director
April 23, 2020