Plus One’s CEO, Tanya Sullivan, recently participated on a “Lead Strong” webinar where she talked about leadership and employee communications during the COVID-19 crisis. A few items she discussed:

Your words are critical.
One thing to remember is that words are critical. Leaders need to make sure they are communicating effectively, honestly, concisely. You don’t want your employees second guessing; instead, make sure you are transparent about the business operations and the health of the company. Boil messages down to very concise and clear talking points, and make sure the entire management team is on the same page.

Be transparent and reassuring.
The most important thing to do today is to make sure that your employees aren’t left wondering what’s going to happen. Be proactive with internal messaging, you may need to crowd-source employee’s thoughts and concerns.  One thing you can do is ask your staff to list their top concerns and then have the management team define and agree on the responses to their concerns. Having an empathetic dialogue will help get feedback and address anxieties.

Be wary of empty statements.
Everyone says, “employees come first.” And that’s true. But make sure your messaging conveys how that is true – for example, explaining specifically that you care about the health and safety of the employees opens the door to making necessary changes in business operations.