Eight months on, as many organisations and businesses continue their brave journey navigating the seemingly never-ending pandemic crisis, there's also the need to look at ways to engage with the workforce and help them through the recovery process.
The FutureNet committee members were recently joined by crisis communications expert and Director of Amanda Coleman Communications Ltd - Amanda Coleman - who shared her key insights and best practice on how to become resilient and plan for an effective recovery, drawing from over 20 years of her experience in emergency services, including the Manchester Arena attack.
It's all in the debrief
Often overlooked, Amanda recommends never missing this step and using every opportunity to capture the learning right from the start, especially when it's a long-term crisis. It will help clarify what went well, where the challenges are, and what needs to change and the future course of action depending on how the situation develops.
Are you listening?
Paying attention to and actively listening is crucial to monitor what people are saying: their experiences, what's happened, and how they're dealing with the situation. It's an ongoing process of reflection in being able to better support a recovery communications plan.
The value in evaluation
Never overlook the step to look back and evaluate the crisis communication; it gives you the chance to assess what was originally set out to be achieved through the plan.
That importance of engagement
This is all about keeping the two-way communication going right from the start of the crisis and being equipped to provide strong support, by way of providing proactive feedback, continuous communication, genuine encouragement and leading by example to keep employees engaged especially as most of them work remotely.
Sweat the small stuff
You must have heard this a lot, but really, little things really do matter. The mood, the tone, being in tune with what people are thinking all makes a huge difference during a crisis recovery journey.
Embrace the uncertainty
As communicators we're always armed and prepared with the right content and messages for a campaign. However in a crisis situation, uncertainty is inherent. Amanda advises that we recognize and embrace the ambiguity because recovery can be a long road.
If you'd like to learn more about how to become resilient, be prepared, respond effectively and recover in full, do get a copy of Amanda Coleman's book Crisis Communication Strategies available on KoganPage.