I'm sure that your company is dealing with lots of rumors about policy changes, layoffs, furloughs, traffic stops, office closings, etc. due to COVID-19. Rumors can start unintentionally and increase fears and unnecessary conversations in your office, branch, region, and overall organization.

To avoid these rumors and dangerous assumptions, start implementing organization wide updates. Lead from the front and let the rumors fall behind.

Let's discuss how you can efficiently communicate with your company as a whole, even during times of decentralization.

Easy, Efficient Org-Wide COVID-19 Updates

During very critical times, such as the circumstance we find ourselves in today where the entire world is dealing with a pandemic, this presents a great opportunity to send out a message from your CEO.  

Regularly Scheduled Messages

Regularly schedule messages provide relevant updates to your entire company and are crucial in times of crisis. I'm sure that each person reading this is watching, reading or listening to a regularly scheduled update from the governor of your state or the President of the United States. You probably know exactly what time they go live, right? And where to go to watch it?

This method of regular updates works at a state and national level – why wouldn't it work for you own organization? Let the leader in your organization lead the way. The workforce will be sincerely appreciative to hear the voice of reason and direction.

Invest in your workforce's sense of security and remedy further disturbances within your teams with regular updates from leadership. Additionally, when a message is delivered on a regular basis from the same person it creates a sense of consistency. This builds trust and helps to eliminate unnecessary rumors. Does it take time? Absolutely! Is the time worth the effort? Every minute. 

Leadership

Employees need assurance and knowledge during times of uncertainty. Organizations that invest in learning and development engage with each other. They share knowledge about their company with a level of confidence and security. Those same companies seem to embrace things like the "Message from the CEO" concept and being open with the strategies of the company. 

This is called knowledge sharing, leading the way, providing insight and direction, or better yet, leadership.

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As a part of delivering knowledge, prevention tips, and a message from the CEO, you need a platform for presentation. Microsoft delivers a variety of ways to create a platform for delivering your message, knowledge, tips, schedules, etc.

Intranet Sites for Crisis Management

If you have an intranet built in SharePoint, then you have an excellent tool to create a Crisis Management site.

A Crisis Management site is where you can post a variety of information including, you guessed it, a video of your CEO delivering a message to the workforce. 

Every organization is different and you should absolutely determine what you need to communicate to your organization, how often, and who is responsible for the content. For the purpose of this article, we are focusing on technology available to you to delivered knowledge, leadership, and direction.

Crisis Management Site Content Examples

If you create a Crisis Management Site, what should be included on the site? Examples of content are listed below:

  • Updates from the CEO
  • Local News that is specific to each location
  • Reliable external resources
    • Public Announcements
    • Prevention Practices
    • Designated locations for treatment/test centers
    • Fact Sheets
      • Understanding COVID-19
      • Self-Assessment Resources
      • FAQ
  • On-Site Clinic
    • Operating Hours
    • Appointments required
    • Clinic contact information
  • Mental Health Care
    • If you have an EAP, Employee Assistance Program, where counseling is available;
    • Publish the link to EAP
    • Publish the phone number to EAP
    • AA online programs
  • Work From Home
    • Tips for working from home to be more productive
    • Policies pertaining to working from home
    • Expectations for remote workers
  • Travel policies and restrictions
    • Essential employees may still be required to come in contact with people
      • Publish precautions for them
      • Tips for engaging with customers/clients
    • If there are restrictions for crossing county or state lines
    • Where to find paperwork confirming that "I am essential"
  • Q&A
    • Have a designated area on your intranet site where people can ask questions in real-time and get real-time answers

Efficient Communication Using Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) is a another exceptional product for communicating to your workforce, especially with so many new remote workers. 

MS Teams can offer all of the same structure and layout as an intranet and more. You have the ability to share all of the same information, but in a responsive application where the software is responsive to the device you are using. The information displays nicely whether you are on a desktop or mobile device.

Org-Wide Teams

You can also utilize Org-Wide teams to make sure all of your messages are being shared with everyone in your organization. Schedule a Town Hall meeting for your organization and everyone in will get the notification. Even better, your workforce can join directly from their mobile phones with in the Org-Wide team. Make sure to give your workforce time to ask questions and your leaders to provide answers.

Org-Wide Teams gives an area for instant messaging, ability co-author document, document versioning, audio/video conferencing, ability to call other co-workers within teams via audio or video, ability to share your screen with others, schedule meetings for teams of people or the entire company, and so many more options.

Now, really…Can you get any more efficient with your org-wide communication? 

Org-Wide MS Teams Meeting Set Up

Below you will notice where a meeting has been scheduled on the calendar in MS Teams. A notice is posted in the "Posts" area of the team for all of your workforce to automatically get a notification. When it's time for the meeting your workforce will be notified on their laptop, tablet, or mobile that the meeting has started. And, yes, you guessed it, they can join the video/audio call directly for the device of their choice.

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Display your entire Crisis Management site within your Org-Wide Team on a separate tab. This method you are doing two things:

  • Users who typically visit the intranet for updates will still go to the same place
  • Users who want to get all updates on MS Teams Org-Wide can get the same updates that are posted on the intranet

See below where the Crisis Management tab has been added to the Company News that is an Org-Wide Team.

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Below you will see where an "All Staff Meeting" was planned on the "Company New Team" where all employees are a member. 

Users will get notified in the "Posts" area when the meeting is scheduled. Additionally, users will be notified when the meeting starts.

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Start Better Crisis Communication Today

Get your message out, on a regular schedule, share knowledge with your workforce and keep them up-to-date on information to give them direction and security.

If you are looking for a quick way to deploy MS Teams for better crisis communication, download our Free Microsoft Deployment and Governance Guide.

Need to quickly move to M365, previously known as O365, to gain access to the mobility efficiencies of the cloud? Contact our team here at C5 Insight. We can assist with those efforts.

Regardless of your technological situation please stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions or requests, give us a ring at 704-895-2500.