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Coronavirus Guidance

Coronavirus: Curated Content & Advice
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We have scanned content available from external sources, across the web. Below, we feature key blogs and articles that offer sound advice to help you prepare and navigate through the coronavirus. This page is continually updated, with new links added. Click on the headers to read more...


 

BRAND


Coronavirus: what it means for business and communicators – by Edelman

Edelman has created a space where it is collating its own perspectives on the pandemic for communicators and brand guardians, on topics ranging from business continuity to returning to work. As well as featuring daily media updates, this online area includes findings from its Trust Barometer Special Report about the expectations on brands during the crisis..


 

COMMUNICATION TOOLKITS, RESOURCES & GUIDANCE

 

Covid-19 Communications Toolkit – by VMA

VMA has gathered together the best resources from experienced professionals across the industry to help communicators get through the crisis. Links and topics include: crisis planning; sharing good news stories; supporting and communicating with furloughed employees; mental health and wellbeing; and working from home. The list is regularly updated.
 

Coronavirus HR Hub – by The HR Dept

The HR Dept, which offers personalised HR services to local businesses, has put together a hub of resources aimed at HR professionals, but much of the content will have relevance to anyone working in internal comms and employee engagement. FAQs cover topics such as self-isolation, working from home, wellbeing and employee conduct, and there are links to past webinars on themes including short-time working, job retention, returning to work and mental health.
 

Get the right message out fast in multiple languages – by Lingo24

With the Covid-19 situation constantly changing – and changing in different ways from one country to another – getting the message out quickly in a language everyone understands can be tricky. In a global company, where many employees' first language will not be English, it's important you take an effective, coordinated approach to localising text and making the message clear and consistent so that everyone knows what you need them to do and how you are supporting them.
 

Marcomms toolkit – by Hotwire

If your comms work extends to external comms and marketing, this toolkit will be of great value. Comms agency Hotwire has developed a toolkit with guidance for marcomms professionals who are having to make their messages work in different ways during the outbreak. The toolkit offers advice on turning physical products into digital ones; using social media effectively; planning and preparing your campaigns; and talking to stakeholders.
 

Covid-19 Communication Repertoire – by IC Kollectif

IC Kollectif has created an online space where it is compiling information and tools from professional bodies and practitioners to support communication professionals during the crisis. Find toolkits and survey data, as well as links to online communities and upcoming webinars that can provide you with further information.
 

Mapping the Covid comms curve: a practical worksheet for comms and HR – by scarlettabbott

Based on the experiences of teams in China and those who have responded to the outbreak before the UK, scarlettabbott has devised a worksheet that you can adapt for your organisation – looking at the messages you need to share with your employees, the information your people need, how you can offer reassurance and what you expect to happen as a result of your communication.
 

Coronavirus: what communicators need to know – by Local Public Service Professionals

PR and comms professionals – especially those in government and public services – will find much value in this extensive range of resources from Local Public Service Communications, including the latest news, links, FAQs, data tools, myth busters and contact details. There is even an option to upload your own useful resources.
 

Responding to the coronavirus – by CIPD

The CIPD has updated its news and policy page with advice, resources and guidance to support employers and professionals in their responses to the coronavirus. This includes latest news, thought pieces and resources and guidance on topics such as remote working, annual leave and sick pay, health and wellbeing, and information for supporting particular groups of people, such as carers and working parents.
 

A guide to proactively communicating with employees in response to coronavirus – by David Grossman

Here, David Grossman explores the four key components to communicating around the coronavirys – from keeping colleagues safe and alleviating concerns, to advising them on how the outbreak will impact business and their jobs.
 

Coronavirus: why your internal communication is more important than ever – by Smarp

Keeping employees up to date in a timely manner is critical during periods of unkown, but it's also important to make sure the messages you are sharing are the right messages – and in the right tone. Here, Smarp share their top five best practice tips for internal communicators, to help you effectively inform and engage with employees over the next few weeks.

 

Internal communications COVID-19 support toolkit – from Home

Employee experience and IC agency Home has produced a kit of tools, techniques and ideas to support businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak. The interactive toolkit is based on the biggest challenges IC practitioners are likely to face over the next few weeks – such as dealing with business as usual comms, events, virtual collaboration, and equipping line managers with the information they need.
 

Advice for brand communicaions amid coronavirus outbreak – from Twitter

Coronavirus has added a new complication to consider in brand communications and messaging.  The human impact, the real-world, immediate health concerns of the outbreak, are the biggest concern, but for those businesses looking to maintain their activity, Twitter has provided a list of key elements to factor into your messaging, in order to ensure that you're providing helpful, beneficial information to your audience, while also working to navigate the rising disruption caused by the outbreak.
 

Coronavirus campaign resources – by Public Health England

Register for the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre to download and order free resources for all its campaigns – including Covid-19 – and links to guidance materials, such as the latest government response.

 

Hand-washing resources for employers – by Behaviour Change

We've been told for weeks to wash our hands regularly, for 20 seconds – but not everyone is getting on board. Behaviour Change, which works with organisations to understand what really changes behaviour, has produced a series of downloadable resources/posters to help employers give colleagues an extra nudge towards the sink.

 

 

CRISIS COMMS
 

Crisis communications during the coronavirus outbreak – by 44 Communications

During a crisis, employees expect information and updates regularly, even though the business's leaders and comms teams are under extra pressure. Internal communicators need to consider all the questions employees might ask and give clear instructions. Here, 44 Communications offers advice for managing the complete crisis communication cycle.
 

Coronavirus tips for internal communicators – by Andrew Hesselden

Eight tips and ideas for communications in a crisis, ranging from being clear about audience and what they want to know, through to humanising language and showing the business the value an internal communicator brings.
 

How to handle your corporate communications during a crisis – by Forbes

This article from Forbes outlines how this is a time when communications are more important than ever because, aside from ensuring the safety of your employees and suppliers, how you handle this crisis can be a decisive factor in whether your company survives or not. And while communications have become more complex in this electronic age, these same complex communications are also a lifeline to curbing panic and supporting the economic activity that is now rapidly shifting online as more and more people stay home. In another Forbes article, you can pick up some tips for working remotely during the pandemic.
 

WEBINAR: How to prepare your workforce now for what's ahead: webinar – from Poppulo

To help the IC community understand what to do and how to prepare for the months ahead, Poppulo invited a panel of experts to discuss components of a crisis response strategy; appropriate company policies; communicating the “New Normal”; what other companies are doing and sample templates you can use, plus a Q&A.
 

Best practices in internal communication for crisis management – from LumApps

Good preparation is essential in a crisis, to ensure your messages hit the right note. Here, digital communications provider LumApps outlines how internal comms in intrinsic to crisis management, offering advice on how to use your digital channels – intranet, mobile, virtual gatherings – to the best effect.


 

CONNECTING EMPLOYEES

 

How to connect your people – by All Things IC

Rachel Miller's recent Twitter poll suggests internal communicators most need advice around connecting their people. Here, she reflects on the struggle to maintain a sense of normality in our communication when the change in circumstances means we may not have time to do as much as normal. Take a step back to analyse what's working and reflect on the channel mix you need right now.

 

 

FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES

 

*Coronavirus: what happens when the furlough scheme ends?

From August, companies start paying for the furlough scheme and it will end in October. So what happens next?
 

Coronavirus: furlough guide – by CIPD

The government's job retention scheme allows UK employers with PAYE employees to designate those employees as "furloughed workers", meaning they can access government support and continue to keep paying those employees and protect them from redundancy. This CIPD guide covers the key facts to date, which employers and employees are eligible, the consultation process with employees and what happens during furlough – as well as how to communicate with employees.

 

Coronavirus guide: returning to the workplace – by CIPD

Soon, working life will resemble something close to how we remember it. But when lockdown is lifted, don't expect employees to turn up at 9am the next day and snap back into their old habits. CIPD has produced a guide to help employers manage the return to the workforce, which includes supporting colleagues returning after furlough, and dealing with redundancies and other absences.
 

Keeping furloughed employees engaged is critical to the future of your business – by Unily

With furloughed employees asked to take a step back and not undertake any work, employers must still maintain a duty of care for these colleagues, Maintaining a strong support means that when things get back to normal, these employees will find it easier to pick up where they left off.
 

Guidance on communicating with furloughed employees – by CIPR

As the furlough process begins across the UK, CIPR Inside has created a short factsheet on how organisations should manage communication with affected employees.

 
 

LEADERSHIP

 

How to lead your (suddenly virtual) team through a crisis – by KelloggInsight

Leaders need to move to a command-and-control approach, which means keeping colleagues informed about your shifting priorities; overcommunicating and being exceptionally clear about what people need to do; delegating and knowing when to trust people to get on with the job; and making sure people are well equipped and able to carry out their work.
 

Corporate governance during Covid-19: five things better boards are doing now – by Ann Francke, CMI

In terms of the stakeholders that businesses should be focusing on most, the balance is shifting from customers to employees. Here, Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, reflects on the priority to protect employees through the crisis in order not only to maintain their own wellbeing, but to secure the reputation of the brand.
 

Webinar: Leading in disruptive times – by DRPG

Creative communications group DRPG has launched a series of 30-minute livestream broadcasts, called DRPG Bitesize Talks, where a panel of experts discusses the  issues affecting businesses today. The latest session delved into crisis leadership and the psychological effects of remote working on  teams and business culture. You can watch the discussion at the above link.
 

16 tips for managing remote teams – by WeWork

Published before the coronavirus outbreak, this article includes lots of useful tips about bringing the office vibe into geographically disrupted working relationships. It serves as a useful reminder that, now more than ever, being apart is no reason not to set goals and expectations, meet regularly, have robust project management processes, and offer ongoing praise and support.

 

A guide for leadership communications during Covid-19 – by Craig Mullaney

In a crisis, especially one unprecedented such as the coronavirus outbreak, employees, customers and other stakeholders need to hear from business leaders – and right now, online isprobably the only way to do it. Here, Craig Mullaney shares some best practice tips to help leaders reach their audiences with emotion and authenticity.
 

Leaders: 9 things to watch for when your team goes remote – by Jason Seiden

Jason Seiden reflects that when a team chooses or needs to work remotely, managers have a responsibility to help them make the transition. This post spells out the checklist for consideration – from ensuring everyone is on the same tech page and adjusting to conversations by phone and video, to checking in regularly and monitoring colleagues' wellbeing.


 

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

 

Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health – by rehab4addiction

During the pandemic, many people who live with depression are struggling to stay afloat during isolation. This informational guide is intended to help those people and their loved ones better understand their situation and lead them to find a safe and supportive environment. It looks at the effects of mental health, tips while staying at home, and how to take care of your mental wellbeing.

 

New campaign helps those with sleep struggles during lockdown

At a time when many are worried or anxious about Covid-19, and with the number of Brits struggling to sleep on the rise, Public Health England has launched new guidance on its Every Mind Matters platform to help people improve their sleep. Our story here includes links to a new film and a Mind Plan you can share with employees.

 

How can we regulate emotion and alleviate anxiety in order to flourish – by Minerva Engagement

Neuroscience specialists Minerva Engagement has started a series of 30-minute wellbeing sessions. This third episode considers how our emotions influence our thoughts, and how over time we learn to respond to these. It considers how the uncertainty of Covid-19 leads to a threat response to the brain, which requires more energy than usual to keep our emotions under control.
 

Coronavirus and your wellbeing – by Mind

Mind, the charity that advises and supports people experiencing mental health issues, has provided information for those who are concerned about how coronavirus may affect their lives. This information covers advice for staying at home and taking care of your wellbeing – and will be relevant for you and your teams, and for sharing with the wider workforce.
 

How agencies are supporting employee mental health in lockdown

As employees and freelancers spend more time at home, their concerns may naturally move from job security to emotional wellbeing. Many agencies and organisations have been implementing programmes and event schedules to help keep their colleagues' mental health in check.
 

Top tips for maintaining wellbeing during self-isolation – by Jennie Flower

Having emerged from self isolation a few days ago, Jennie Flower reflects on some survival techniques – how to focus, how to get fresh air, how to stay connected – that we can all benefit from as our movement restrictions tighten.
 
 
 

PLATFORMS & SERVICES


Five ways to work remotely with Microsoft Teams – by Sequel Group

With more staff, and in some cases whole organisations, working from home as part of the coronavirus response, many people are on a learning curve with Microsoft Teams. This article from Sequel Group outlines how Teams can be used for messaging, collaborating on documents and participating in meetings. Any internal communicators looking to promote these ways of working will find the list useful.
 

COVID-19 IC advice – from ICPlan

ICPlan has created a bot to help people working in IC and offer ideas for communicating about the virus. It includes a list of reliable resources in several countries, which is updated regularly, as well as template materials. You can also sign up for updates. Click on the above link, and then the “COVID-19 IC advice” red button in the bottom left corner.

 

 

REMOTE WORKING

 

23 remote team building activities (to boost morale and trust) – by Fingerprint for Success

Team bonding is essential to boost positive vibes in the workplace and support collaboration, but is not easy to do when everyone is working remotely. Here, Fingerprint for Success suggests a number of ideas for virtually engaging with colleagues on a non-work basis, from book clubs and online museum tours to painting sessions and pub quizzes and happy hours (BYOB, obviously). There are also a couple of suggestions for using online tools to bond as you work.
 

How to support new home workers during COVID-19 – by scarlettabbott

The COVID-19 epidemic has dramatically upended our ingrained working practices. As thousands of employees face a potential period of self-isolation, there’s more focus on the implications of that ‘isolation’ and the unprecedented challenge internal comms teams are facing to maintain community and collaboration as more of us become remote workers. This blog looks at how IC can help support our people, and remain agile, as we quickly move to a new way of working.
 

How to communicate COVID-19 working patterns – by All Things IC 

This blog asks what advice and guidance are you giving employees working from home and how is IC working alongside HR colleagues to make sure your people know what to do? How can teams keep in touch with each other if working patterns change?
 

Five ways to work remotely with Microsoft Teams – by Sequel Group

With more staff, and in some cases whole organisations, working from home as part of the coronavirus response, many people are on a learning curve with Microsoft Teams. This article from Sequel Group outlines how Teams can be used for messaging, collaborating on documents and participating in meetings. Any internal communicators looking to promote these ways of working will find the list useful. 
 

Stepping into the unknown – by Emma Berry 

From her own experience in working from home over several years, Emma Berry, Senior Director & Global Lead, Internal and External Engagement, Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group at Pfizer, shares practical advice, especially for those who may be working from home for the first time.


 

RESEARCH

 

Consumers say the COVID-19 crisis is improving – but trust in Government and the media is declining – by YouGov

A recent YouGov webinar examined how economic and political attitudes have changed over the course of the pandemic. The session revealed that most people in the UK think the COVID-19 situation is getting better – though support for the government’s approach to the pandemic has been declining. Click the above link for a summary of recent findings and click here to request to watch the webinar.


In times of anxiety lead with 'we' and 'us' – by MIT Sloan Management Review

A team of researchers looked at the analytics of one organisation's workforce and the results from quick surveys to find out how employees were responding to Covid-19. They found the crisis was having an effect on wellbeing and anxiety levels. Employees wanted to know what 'the plan' was and how leaders were going to offer job security. This article proposes four steps that CEOs and senior leaders can take.
 

International COVID-19 tracker – by YouGov

YouGov is running a tracker that includes the results of surveys with thousands of people around the world every week, covering issues such as brands, politics, flights, schooling and personal hygiene. You can also get the results of specific research on the virus in the UK.
 

 

RETURNING TO THE WORKPLACE
 

Ten HR steps to get staff through the next stage of COVID-19 – by Sentinel

As colleagues return to offices and other workplaces, HR departments have to be ready to help staff through the next stage of COVID-19. Some employees will be returning to their offices but many will remain working from home – HR has to look after both groups. These top ten tips will help you keep colleagues safe and health in the workplace

 

Leading the conversation: what's next for IC and HR teams? – by scarlettabbott

Internal comms has more than demonstrated its value over the past few months, but as the crisis appears to ease, IC must make sure it is ready for what is still to come. This guide from scarlettabbott highlights where internal comms can support leaders in their decision-making on everything from reopening workplaces and reboarding furloughed workers to maintaining wellbeing.

 

Returning to the workplace communications – by Gatehouse

The workplaces your colleagues will go back to will look very different to the ones they left. Gatehouse has created an IC strategy that defines the communication phases needed to get employees back to the workplace – with the right information at the right time, via the right channels. Read about the phased approach and download the strategy at the above link.
 

The next normal: how to unlock your people’s potential in a post-lockdown world – by h&h

“The new normal” has become “the next normal”. In this recording for One Humber Online, Helen Bissett and Hannah Thoresby, founders of internal comms agency h&h, consider how organisations can take advantage of the lessons we’ve learned over the past few weeks to create better, more productive workplaces?
 

How to create a coronavirus risk assessment – by People Management

Government guidelines state all firms returning staff to the workplace should produce an assessment to ensure their workplace is "Covid secure". So what should it cover?

 

Working safely during coronavirus – from gov.uk

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. This covers a range of working environments – offices, outdoor work, shops, homes, restaurants, labs and more.
 

Our plan to rebuild: the UK government's Covid:19 recovery strategy – from gov.uk

The government has issue a detailed Covid-19 recovery strategy, Our Plan To Rebuild. It looks at the effects on health, the economy and society, and outlines the phased recovery approach and the timetable for lifting restrictions at work, for travelling and in public spaces, as well as around other areas.
 

Coronavirus guide: returning to the workplace – by CIPD

Soon, working life will resemble something close to how we remember it. But when lockdown is lifted, don't expect employees to turn up at 9am the next day and snap back into their old habits. CIPD has produced a guide to help employers manage the return to the workforce, which includes supporting colleagues returning after furlough, and dealing with redundancies and other absences.

*Please note we are not recieving payment or endorsing any products or services featured in our curated content.
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