Communication key during these times

Matt Lorenz

One thing businesses ought to be doing now is making a regular stream of communication to all employees who are off work.

Most companies I have checked with are not doing this. The communication I am talking about does not have to be long or very detailed. It needs to be honest and be of a nature that bolsters teamwork.

It is not smart in this serious time to expect loyalties to remain high if and when employees are not made to feel the business is trying to survive.

It is all right to share management’s concerns — short of giving sensitive information that normally would not be shared. It is more an issue of letting everyone know how the battle of survival is going. It also is all right to indicate when management believes (or hopes) things might be good enough to begin again.

I am communicating with my employees by simply emailing them. I want them to know I care about them in terms of how they are doing personally. I ask how unemployment is going — are they getting their checks. I ask about the socialist $1,200 check — which I am in favor of for the most part.

But I also let them know when I believe we might be starting back up and that I will be glad to see them there and ready to go. I give them every sign that I care and want them back. They also are then in a situation where they can easily tell me if they choose not to come back.

In this horrible time of personal and business trouble, there is the opportunity to build stronger bonds by showing that the company really cares. The communication I am talking about has to be genuine.

For business managers/owners to do this in the middle of many unknowns is, perhaps, not easy. Communication is tough for many people even under the best of circumstances.

The practical test of whether you are communicating effectively with your laid off folks is to achieve a top-of-mind status with them. The way I make sure of that as best I can is to call one or two after I do a send and ask them if they have any questions about my recent communiqué.

Communication at this time offers a huge opportunity to keep everything together — without any real downside.

Good luck in these times. Do what you can and do not overly fret about the stuff you cannot do anything about. What will be will be. It is a world condition. It will come and go.

Only God knows how this thing will move along and turn out. All we can do is what we can and take the rest on faith.