As the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to mount, the workforce remains ever fearful. With unemployment rising by the millions, and those still employed wondering if—or when—the other shoe may drop at your company, it’s never been more critical to be transparent. Right now, your employees are looking to you for the kind of leadership that will help them, and your company, get through the crisis.
What are you doing to reassure them?
Your response to this question is critical, and the things you say, and actions you take, will be how you, and leaders like you, are measured for the foreseeable future.
So how do you tackle this once-in-a-career challenge? More specifically, how do you maintain a steady dialogue with your employees, who have already been bombarded with an excessive volume of messages around COVID-19? And, how do you position yourself to be accessible to listen to their ongoing individual challenges and be a voice of reassurance?
Let’s first look at what your employees (and by extension, your clients) need to hear; and how best to deliver it with consistency.
Oh, by the way: It’s very important to communicate a derivation of this message to your clients – and to ensure your employees remain on message with your clients as well. Your customers want to know that you are standing by them, and what options you can offer to help them weather the downturn. Let them know that you have a plan to survive, and to come out on the other side stronger than ever – together.
If you have created a COVID-19 task force, include them in frequent dispatches as well. And if new questions arise from your clients, address the answers to those questions in your next regular briefing session.
Now is not the time for false optimism, sugarcoating, or opaque behavior. You are locked into one of the fiercest battles for survival that you likely will encounter. You cannot go it alone – so motivating the troops, being direct and transparent, and moving your team forward, can make or break your economic pandemic survival plan.