Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 02, 2020: Internal comms post corona virus. One of the key issues facing the world today is the impact of Covid19 on businesses, almost all industries except for a few, have seen dramatic change in how they do business and obviously in their operations, financial returns and forecasts.
While we have very little control over external factors affecting businesses, we remain to have full control over employees and how management communicates with them. Change and uncertainty is what's storming through businesses and their employees simultaneously. While businesses are facing uncertainty in terms of bottom line, revenues, return on investments, forecast, employees are still faced with questions like school fees, rents, food on the table, safety and wellbeing of those who depend on them.
It seems that most businesses are going to be faced with important decisions in the coming period. Reducing cost is imperative for the survival of the business, some of those are clearly going to impact the employees in several ways, how do we handle this? What are the key elements that will decide the effectiveness of such decisions while taking into consideration the human element during those times of uncertainty and change?
1- Management must have a clear path that considers several scenarios like work from home policies, who is going on paid leave? Who is going to be on unpaid leave and for how long? or salary cuts?
2- Transparency, the management has to communicate ensuring employees that full levels of transparency are in order to foster a relationship of ongoing trust, what you hear is what you get? Nothing is hidden behind curtains because trust is very rare commodity in such times.
3- Compassion, these are difficult times to everybody while businesses are impacted, we need to remember, managements are worried about bottom lines, costs, revenues and the overall performance of a business. We need to remember that employees are worried about rent, school fees healthcare. The way the business performs during times of crisis will certainly be remembered after the crisis with those employees that remain.
4- Metrics it is important to communicate to your employees how the harsh decisions are going to be made once they are made. You need to give them a fighting chance, those have proved to be useful will be recognized, who are less useful won't be treated the same. Therefore, tell them how the decisions are made?
While foreseeing the future is more and more difficult in situations like the one we are facing, businesses will need to try to give a timeline to their management actions, don't make them feel that this avalanche is rolling forever, we need to put an end date to what's happening, as much as possible.
As someone said “this too shall pass” a message of hope and positivity goes along way for employees, management and the business overall. When the crisis is over, those firms that prove their loyalty to employees will certainly reap the benefit.