Employee Communications ~ 6 min

Crisis Communication: Keeping Employees Connected During Challenging Times

Marketing Team, Experts in Employee Advocacy, Sociabble
Marketing Team Experts in Employee Advocacy

COVID has redefined the notion of “crisis communication,” and improving internal communication to keep employees constantly connected and informed of new updates and policies is now critical. But so is respecting their privacy and personal time. In this blog post, we’ll explain how Sociabble can help. 

In 2020, crisis communication moved to the forefront, as the health crisis forced so many employees to work remotely or on the frontlines, and made employee communication and the transmission of important updates absolutely key. Breaking news, new health-related policies, and emergency measures had to be communicated.

And in 2021, crisis communication is just as important, if not more so. But how can companies ensure that their dispersed workforce is getting the essential information they need, in a timely fashion? One solution is to choose the right mobile-friendly communication platform like Sociabble.

COVID-19 has Redefined Crisis Communication

In the past, a crisis communication strategy was always seen as a nice thing to have, but it wasn’t essential. In fact, it was mostly hypothetical, a cautionary measure that might come in handy someday. But with the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020, all of that changed.

Suddenly, a huge percentage of global workers could no longer come into work. According to a survey by Gartner, as many as 88% of workers worldwide were encouraged or forced by their employers to work from home in the wake of the pandemic. And 97% of businesses immediately canceled all work-related travel.

Many employees were left confused about company policy, uncertain how to maintain their status in a safe manner, and how to continue doing their job with lock-downs, travel restrictions, and other regulations in place. In short, they felt lost, and being able to communicate in a crisis became the most important element of Employee Communication.

crisis communication

And in the case of frontline workers, many of whom didn’t have the option of staying home, this need for effective communication was especially pronounced, as new rules and company policies designed to navigate the crisis came into play.

For example, in the U.S., of the 90 million people employed in essential industries, 50 million are frontline workers—that’s more than half of the workforce. And all of them have to stay connected to company news for the sake of their jobs, but also their health and the health of their peers—and many don’t even have a corporate email address to help with that, despite the crucial part that they play.

To Reach Employees, Mobile Alerts & Updates are Critical

For Employee Communication to work effectively under crisis conditions, it becomes necessary to reach employees no matter where they are, whether it’s at home, or on the frontlines at an outlet or factory. The fact of the matter is, the traditional method of relying on employees sitting and waiting at their office desks no longer works.

You have to be able to reach your workforce anywhere, and at any time. And the only effective way to accomplish this is via the employee’s customary mobile device.

Employees need to be able to receive breaking news and critical updates on their mobile phones—but they also need the capability to respond, to interact, to share. And this isn’t just about managing news at the global level, but at the local and team level as well. Effectively, they need to be able to do everything they can normally do from an office desk on their phone. They need a full Employee Communication system in their pocket, no matter where they go.

crisis communication

And on the company side, administrators need the option of read receipts and analytics to ensure that important messages are being received and absorbed, and to be able to make adjustments to the process for optimal results.

A dynamic system is optimal, so that communications can be monitored and adjusted to fit the specific situation.

However, Employees Need to Feel that Their Privacy is Respected

Having communication capabilities at one’s fingertips can be extremely effective—but it can also cause problems. Most employees don’t want to feel that they’re “on call” 24/7.

They don’t want to receive news updates and project requests outside of normal office hours.

Privacy is important, and having personal time is important as well. In some countries, respecting these boundaries are not only a good idea, it’s actually the law, with employee connection rights in place to ensure that this happens. And beyond simple boundaries, it’s also crucial to make sure messages and updates are targeted to the relevant audience, to avoid information overload or fatigue. Essentially, you want to be sure that information is going to exactly the right employees, at exactly the right time. That’s what effective communication is all about.

crisis communication

Sociabble ensures that critical company news is seen and read by employees.

Sociabble Offers Complete Mobile Employee Communication with Total Privacy Control

Sociabble is a complete Employee Communication platform, suitable for all employees, be they in the office, on the road, at home, or on the frontlines. But one of its strengths is its mobile capabilities. Essentially, it puts the full power of a unified communications solution at employees’ fingertips, with a mobile app that’s every bit as effective as the desktop version.

This means that frontline workers will have all the same capabilities as their office counterparts, keeping them connected and engaged.

Sociabble’s mobile features include:

  • Mobile push notifications and alerts, so that employees can receive crucial information at once.
  • Read receipts & analytics, so you can be sure that necessary messages are received and read.
  • Advanced targeting features, so that the right information goes to the right employee.
  • Full chat capabilities, so employees can stay in touch no matter where they are.
  • Totally customizable privacy controls, known on the platform as “Quiet Hours,” so that admins can set designated time constraints and messaging guidelines, ensuring that employees feel that their personal time is respected.