7 Tips for Internal Communicators in Times of Uncertainty

March 30, 2020

As communicators, you often hear what people in your unit, college, or campus want or need before others do. As such, you are in a position to not only drive messaging but positively influence the workplace culture during challenging times. 

Here are a few tips to support communications when you don’t know all the answers and want to reassure your audiences.

  1. Provide opportunities for connection through newsletter updates, regular team Zoom meetings, or both.
  2. Make sure leadership is visible and has a clear perspective on the situation. Communicate that perspective regularly.
  3. Engage people managers and remind them they’re the most trusted source of information for their employees. Think about what messages you can ask them to reinforce with their teams. 
  4. Support leadership when they get tough questions. Let them know it’s OK to admit they may not have the answers, and that sometimes people want to know that solutions are in the works.
  5. Ask for feedback, listen with empathy, and show how you’re incorporating that feedback in your responses.
  6. Provide context around decisions; this will help people understand the reasons behind changes.
  7. Call on people’s best instincts: Ask them to help you, each other, and other teams. Suggest ways they can help (virtually, of course). 

If you would like more guidance on communicating with faculty and staff, contact Christie Wells or Meagan Pierluissi in University Relations.