I think you’ll enjoy this article from Smart Brief by Joel Garfinkle entitled, 9 actionable ways to lead with transparency in uncertain times. He points out that, according to Gallup, only 39% of U.S. employees strongly agree that their employer has communicated a clear plan of action in response to COVID-19.
Garfinkle urges nonprofit leaders to be the exception rather than the rule. He emphasizes that leaders have a duty to articulate a clear plan of action on how their organization is responding to any major change.
He offers nine essential tips for how leaders can communicate directly and openly about this challenging time.
By Joel Garfinkle, April 20, 2020
As an executive coach, my key task in this critical time of change is to help leaders remain calm within the storm. By modeling that confident, capable spirit to their team, giving clear direction, and providing transparent communication, leaders will help everyone to feel calmer and act as a unified team.
That’s what differentiates the active leaders from the rest of the crowd. I urge all my clients to be straightforward about how the changes that are occurring may affect them while showing that they fully believe their team to be capable of navigating them.
Numerous clients have reached out with the same question: How should they communicate with their employees during and after a crisis?
Whether they’re responding to COVID-19 or another crisis that will affect them in the future, they need a toolkit of proven crisis communication strategies.
Consistent and transparent communication is vital, I tell them. Strong communication strategies will help you continue to manage the transitions in progress and prepare yourself for any future crisis. Keep your coworkers, managers, teams, and employees informed about what’s happening throughout the duration of the pandemic, so they know you’re on the same team.
Even if you spoke with them frankly when you first made the decision to go remote, it’s vital to keep reevaluating and redelivering strong and up-to-date messages about how what’s happening affects you all. As any crisis can shake the business landscape across industries, your employees will know you’re doing your best to respond to an unpredictable situation.
Employees are more likely now than ever to be understanding about dramatic changes, as long as you’re clearly concerned about everyone’s well-being — and as long as you’re transparent about what’s happening. But many leaders need a lot of guidance in that department, which is understandable since they’re dealing with a lot of anxiety themselves.
“Only 39% of U.S. employees strongly agree that their employer has communicated a clear plan of action in response to COVID-19,” Gallup says. Be the exception rather than the rule, I urge my clients. Leaders have a duty to articulate a clear plan of action on how their organization is responding to any major change.
Here are some essential tips for communicating directly and openly about this challenging time. Start putting them to use now, and evaluate your success with each of them on a weekly basis in order to hone your crisis leadership skills. You’ll not only navigate the current crisis with grace and effectiveness but will also prime yourself to lead through any major challenge.