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Ten Tips for Crisis Communication

Build trust through transparent, empathetic and two-way communication

World events, pandemics, national politics, natural disasters and social change movements thrust companies and their leaders into the spotlight with employees, stakeholders and the public clamoring for a corporate statement if not also action. The corporate stance, once articulated, can shape consumer sentiment and move markets; it can also reinforce or shatter espoused corporate values. Responding to which issues in what way, when and by whom must be carefully considered. Deciding to articulate a point of view is not without its challenges but remaining silent has become a diminishing option. A critically important constituency is an organization’s workers who care about what is said in the public sphere. They also care deeply about what is communicated internally and the alignment between public and private responses.

Our research shows that employees emphatically want their organizations to respond to the issues, causes and events that they passionately care about. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is just such an issue. The level of urgency, focus and specific actions will be determined by your organization’s presence (and that of your partners, affiliates or suppliers) in Ukraine and the larger eastern European region as well as the number of employees and their extended families likely to be personally impacted.

The internal communication to the employees and contractors in your workforce in times of stress and uncertainty make it vital to articulate clear plans, temporary measures and/or changes in policy or protocol as well as available support and access. It’s important to move quickly on the dissemination and, perhaps most importantly, to balance both the stark reality of the moment with the promise of the better future such that workers are reassured that they are being led by competent, caring and decisive leaders whose actions will translate into a stable future.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Conference Board.

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