The war in Ukraine has posed a question to HR: how do you manage anxiety within your organization and support affected employees? Here are several things that help you streamline your Employee Communications in times of crisis.
Acknowledge the problem and express empathy
As an organization, you cannot ignore the crisis, especially if it affects your employees – one way or another. You cannot change the situation, but you can show your support and solidarity with those who suffer. It means a lot to people to be heard and not to be left in silence. A company announcement is good, but reaching out to individual employees is even more important.
Stick to concise communications
People are bombarded by information from all sources. Keep your communications concise. The clearer you are, the bigger is your chance of getting your messages across. If you ask your employees to take action, observe the rule of 3: no more than 3 instructions at once. We can hardly hold more in our short-term memory.
Offer actual help
If some of your employees are involved in the crisis, reach out to them immediately and ask how you can help. If this is not the case, you may consult official resources and explore organizations you can donate or deliver aid to. It’s important you involve your employees in all stages of crisis support: people want to be part of the solution.
Share employee stories
As humans, we connect through narratives. Nothing is as persuasive as first-hand experience. If you feel your company’s culture is transparent and safe, give your people a channel to express their concerns and tell their stories. Otherwise, you can interview involved employees and share their stories via internal newsletters or other mediums.
In times of crisis, especially during a war, it’s natural for people to become more aggressive. As HR, it’s important to equip managers with effective communication tools to reduce aggression within their teams. A good idea is to hold training on nonviolent communication.
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