Communicate with Your Team During a Rapidly Evolving Crisis
Keeping your employees informed during a crisis should be one of your top priorities as a leader. It’s your responsibility to stay on top of events as they unfold — especially if they’re evolving as fast as they are right now. At the same time, beware of hype. News outlets often focus on what’s new, rather than the big picture, and they sometimes don’t distinguish between hard facts, soft facts, and speculation. Think critically about the source of the information before acting on it. Of course, employees have direct access to many sources of information too — but don’t assume they’re fully informed. It’s far better to create and widely share a regularly updated summary of facts and implications so you’re all on the same page. And constantly reframe your understanding of what’s happening. Don’t hold off on disseminating plans just because they might change. Create a living document, with a timestamped “best current view,” and update it regularly, highlighting critical changes.
This tip is adapted from “Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis,” by Martin Reeves, Nikolaus Lang, and Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak Harvard_Business_Review_-_Communication.pdf