Communication This is how bosses should communicate in crises

A guide to crisis communication Headway from Unsplash

# 1 Communicate regularly

“Most managers have to communicate with their employees more often than they think,” say management professors Brooks Holtom (Georgetown University) and Amy Edmondson (Harvard Business School) in the “Harvard Business Review”. Bosses could quickly get tired of always saying the same key messages. But that is part of the job. “Frequent communication lowers fears and insecurities and ensures that employees have heard the message,” emphasize the scientists. In times of crisis, it was particularly important to repeatedly point out opportunities and positive developments.

# 2 Enable secure feedback

Good superiors don’t just announce. They collect feedback from their team, preferably in anonymous form, so that everyone expresses their opinion openly. Unfortunately, employees often cannot rely on criticism not to fall back on them. Using the TinyPulse feedback software, the authors asked 830 employees from ten US companies how satisfied they were with their companies’ reactions to the corona crisis. One participant criticized that statements to personnel management would always somehow get around in the company. This is of course unacceptable. Good bosses have to make sure that employees can openly address fears and grievances, especially in times of crisis.

# 3 Address fears

Such statements must not simply disappear into the filing system. Scientists call on bosses in crises: be proactive about fears. “People understandably worry about their jobs. Managers should reassure their team members when their jobs are actually secure. If this is not the case, employees appreciate being informed about it as early as possible so that they can plan accordingly, ”the authors write.

# 4 Share future plan

Probably no one in the unprecedented Covid 19 pandemic demanded that managers have an answer to everything right away. But employees can expect one thing: that their bosses demonstrate leadership and care. “Share as much of your strategies and plans for the future as possible,” the scientists recommend. The form is just as important as the content: “What you say as a leader and how you convey it has a decisive influence on how your organization gets through these difficult times.”


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