Employees especially are often
neglected during a business crisis, and
as a result, many companies alienate
their best advocates—the people who
are excellent workers and whose opinions and attitudes have an impact outside the company, through their daily
conversations with friends and family,
as well as through their social media
Your company’s crisis communication plan should definitely include
an employee communication component. (If your organization doesn’t
have a stated crisis communication
plan already, then creating one should
be a priority.) Processes, responsibilities, channels and recurring training
should be determined and a framework established that encompasses
employee communication, including
•Make sure senior management
understands the importance of two-
way communication and incorporates
employee feedback in its decisions.
Employee feedback during a crisis helps
identify the value of messages, helps
keep tabs on rumors and false infor-
mation, highlights employee concerns,
and enhances trust. Even questions
that seem inconvenient or unimpor-
tant should be addressed in order to
keep people informed and their morale
up. Follow-up messages should take
employee opinions into account and
provide information about the steps
company leadership is taking.
• Communicate first with employees
about matters that affect them. Think
about it: Wouldn’t you want to know
from your own company about a situation that could affect your job?
Empower your employees with the
facts, and let them function as communication allies, carrying specific
messages into the community.
• Designate company spokespersons
to address stakeholders with carefully
crafted messages. Then consider using
employees as informal communicators
in times of crisis with official messaging that was developed for various
crisis scenarios. Familiarity with com-
employees with the
facts, and let them
function as communication allies, carrying
into the community.
Employee crisis communication tips
1. Recognize the need for frequent two-way communication.
2. Develop and implement a customized plan before a crisis strikes.
3. Obtain senior management buy-in and ongoing support.
4. Seek and act upon employee feedback to enhance trust.
5. Communicate crisis-related news to employees first whenever possible.
6. Ensure consistent and coherent internal message delivery.
7. Turn employees into valuable communication allies.
8. Enable continuous dialogue to minimize employee uncertainty.
9. Employ proven communication channels.