Business Continuity – Communicating Effectively Internally In Times Of Disruption
It can be argued that a company’s most valuable, and sometimes most underestimated, resource is its employees. Communicating effectively with them in times of disruption can make the difference between a smooth recovery from a disaster or one that is plagued with further issues.
In times of disaster or disruption, employees may need to work longer, harder and in higher pressured situations. Doing this while maintaining a positive and helpful environment can be difficult but achievable through effective internal communication.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
Bad news doesn’t get any better by ignoring it or by shadowing it with lies and false hope. Honest and open communication is a fundamental in normal business conditions but it’s even more important in times of disruption or crisis. It’s the foundation of an effective group and your employees will genuinely respect the honesty, even if the message one they don’t like.
Think Before You Speak
In a crisis, everyone is apprehensive and looking to senior management team for reassurance. Before communicating the facts, you need to know the facts. Make sure that all the relevant information is collected and critically evaluated before making any statement toward your employees. Once this has been done, key messages can then be communicated throughout the company.
Keep Employees Fully Informed
People want to know what happened, how it affects the company, how it affects them, what will happen next and all the other questions that follow. Its human nature. They will know something is wrong and if you don’t inform them, this opens the space for rumours to be created and false information being spread throughout the business. A meeting, a brief pep talk by line managers or a simple group email are all ways to keep your employees informed in times of disruption.
Provide Clear Guidance to Staff Working Different Roles
Normally, employees know what’s expected of them, understand their role and where to go for help. However, during a period of disruption this can become less clear. Everybody’s priorities and roles may change for a period of time until the disruption settles, causing elements of uncertainty and confusion.
It’s important to communicate clearly who is in charge in various departments and where employees can turn to for advice and help. This can be done through meetings and it is always a good idea to send an email highlighting the changes.
Listen To Staff Concerns And Suggestions
Communication is a 2-way street, both top-down and bottom-up and its important to keep these 2 pathways of internal communication open. It may be worth taking some time to listen and communicate with employees directly. Let them express how they feel, voice concerns, ask questions and even let them offer solutions. This can be advantageous as it can instil a sense of unity, team spirit and can also provide innovative solutions to some of the issues.
Hold a De-Brief
After the time of disruption has passed or the crisis has been recovered, it’s a good idea to hold a de-brief. This will allow all who was primarily involved to discuss, review and evaluate what happened, how it happened and how they can prevent it from happening again.
The de-brief can act as a mental note that the crisis is over and provides an opportunity to recognise that the company has made it through the difficult period, say thank you to employees involved and acknowledge any personal sacrifice.
How can Renaissance help?
In a world where technology is advancing at unprecedented levels, disruptive incidents are now more complex than ever to avoid and solve.
That’s where we come in.
Renaissance are the leading and most experienced Business Continuity Consultancy business in Ireland. At Renaissance, we are business continuity experts who will take you through each step, ensuring your organisation is prepared for the unexpected.
We will work with you to develop a tailor made, continuity programme for your organisation which meets your organisations objectives.