Employees first in a crisis. Pinky swear?
YOU’RE IN CRISIS MODE. The adrenaline is pumping. You’re gathering facts, fielding calls and trying to say and do all the right things.
Please, whatever you do, don’t forget your employees.
They deserve to hear the truth from you —and they deserve to hear it first. They care the most about what’s going on because they’re already invested in the company. If there’s one thing you need during a crisis it’s trust within your walls, because if you can’t gain it there, you can’t expect to gain it outside them. Share what you know, protocols and next steps. And update your employees frequently. If you play your cards right and empower them, employees will be your biggest advocates when all hell breaks loose.
- Strengthen your message – After you communicate with them, listen carefully. They’ll tell you what questions they and their circles have. They’ll offer up gut reactions to your messages. Be sure to course correct based on what you hear.
- Delegate responsibilities – Most people want to help during a crisis, so give employees a role. Empower them to sing from your song sheet.
- Share empathy – Especially if you’ve caused harm, employees need to hear you say “we’re sorry” and “we’re committed to making it right” so they can repeat the sentiment confidently.
I guarantee the first steps you take with your employees during a crisis will have a significant impact on morale and attrition. Organizations who rise above adversity do it with happy employees who are proud of where they work.
Employees first. Pinky swear?
Need a crisis plan template or one-on-one crisis planning support? Contact Emily Easley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 444-2350.