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COVID-19 communication with employees

COVID-19 Communication with Employees + Five Essential Employee Emails to Send Now

Right now, many companies are 100% focused on protecting the business, which is, of course, vital. Companies are prioritizing these communications. But it’s essential to communicate with team members and to humanize that conversation. As an employer, you must connect with your employees around the things you know they are concerned with and get personal. 

Unfortunately, no one has the handbook for communicating with employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but what follows is a suggested approach, as well as some sample texts that can help you convey the right message at the right time.

Employee Communication is Critical

Remember that it’s not heartless to continue to operate, to serve your customers, and take care of your employees during this time. It’s essential that every company, large or small, do just that. What’s important is to keep your company’s values – and your integrity front-and-center. Be transparent – we must all work together to succeed. Be authentic – the fear, the distraction, the challenge is real for all of us. Of course, be empathetic – not just sympathetic – we each have our unique challenges related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but helping each other out of this situation is what will help us emerge as stronger, better people and companies on the other side.

So, keeping that in mind, begin with a strategic approach to your communication. First, make the situation relatable for everyone involved. Second, recognize and acknowledge what your employees are feeling right now. Then, demonstrate empathy for those feelings. Being empathetic now isn’t difficult, as we are all experiencing many of the same things. We all have the opportunity to lift one another up. Next, let employees know how the company is able and willing to help mitigate the effects of the virus. Finally, take a positive view of the future and communicate hope.

To help our clients connect with their employees, we’ve crafted a series of 5 emails that you are welcome to use as a template or starting point for your employee communications. Employee communication is critical now, more than ever.

These five emails include:

  • We have no cases of COVID-19 and are supporting our customers as usual
  • We will have to close our operations temporarily
  • Here’s what the new legislation means for our team members
  • We are carefully monitoring the situation
  • We are an essential part of the economy, and we are doing the patriotic thing by continuing operations

These can be used as emails, or modified for use in video addresses or even online.

We have no known cases

Dear {Employee},

We know that you and your loved ones are deeply concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This Pandemic has affected us all, and we want you to know that we share your concerns.

Between the constant barrage of information and everything you are doing to keep yourself and your family members safe, we understand that your current stress levels may be higher. Your ability to cope with everyday stresses may be lower, and you may be distracted during this difficult time.

While we may not be able to conduct business as usual right now, we need to continue to serve our customers in the best way possible. Of course, we are dedicated to supporting you in that effort, whatever that may mean for your situation.

We do want you and every [COMPANY NAME] Employee to know that, as of right now, we do not have any confirmed cases of the novel corona virus among employees of [COMPANY].

We are, right now, one of the many companies whose products and services can support the country in the fight against this virus. Your continued service at this time is what our economy, and our customers, need. Your management team is working around the clock to support you. If you have individual personal concerns, please let us know.

Stay Healthy,

{COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE}

We are closing

Dear {Employee}, 

Our hearts are with our employees – and everyone affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand your concerns, and therefore [COMPANY] has decided to do our part to help prevent the further spread of this virus by temporarily closing our facilities for the next two weeks.

[company] will continue to serve customers through our online business at {URL}, with our team members working remotely when they can. 

We realize that this decision may affect you directly and that you may have questions specific to your personal situation, and the [COMPANY] Human Resources team is standing by to support you during this uncertain time

This Pandemic has affected everyone’s lives, including those of our customers. We are concerned about your health and financial well-being. We plan to pay our team members for a full two weeks during these closures. [COMPANY} is honored to be part of your life.

We look forward to your good health, now and in the future.

Stay Healthy,

{COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE}

This is what the current legislation provides for

Dear {Employee},

You may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information available right now. We want to take a moment to help make sense of what’s going on and to provide you with what you need to know now.

The US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) provides employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply through December 31, 2020.

Under the Act, {COMPANY} will provide:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
  • Up to an additional ten weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

You will need to provide us with notice of leave as is practicable. After the first workday of paid sick time, we may require you to follow reasonable notice procedures to continue receiving paid sick time.

If you have questions about what the Act covers or need to discuss your unique situation, please contact {name, contact info}.

Of course, we support you and every {COMPANY} Employee during this unprecedented time. Rest assured that your management team is working around the clock to meet the needs of every employee and customer.

Stay well, 

{COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE}

We are monitoring the situation carefully

Dear {EMPLOYEE NAME},

We have all made some difficult decisions over the last X days. We know that you have made sacrifices, and of course, {COMPANY} has as well. 

Between the challenges of caring for loved ones and coping with the current situation, I know you must be feeling additional anxiety right now. I want you to know that we are carefully monitoring the impact of the Pandemic on our employees, our customers, and our business.

While we cannot control the crisis itself, we can control our reaction to it. At this time, we ask every {COMPANY} team member to look to the future, to a time when this crisis is over. Please be vigilant in caring for yourself and your loved ones. Please continue to serve and love our customers as you are able.

On that note, your management team is looking forward – to a bright outlook for {COMPANY}. We know that it will take every team member to create that future. With your help, we will get through the current crisis to emerge into a time when we can serve our clients’ long-overdue needs with the same passion and exceptional skill we always have.

Sincerely, 

{COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE}

We are doing the patriotic thing to keep operating

Dear { Employee},

Right now, Americans are doing their part to support the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and you and every Employee of {COMPANY} are no exception. 

We know that it may be difficult to carry your usual responsibilities, but {COMPANY} takes the responsibility to maintain a regular work schedule seriously to support our customers and the economy during this difficult time.

If you find yourself in need of additional support of any kind, please do not hesitate to reach out to your human resources team. We are here to help you look toward a future in which we can all continue to grow and thrive. 

To your future, 

{COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE}

We’re Here To Help You, Help Your Employees

As you craft your employee communications, make sure you share your messages with authentic love and patience for the people that support your company. The Projections team is standing by to help you connect. Our specialty is helping companies like yours convey their unique message, utilizing your company’s unique voice. 

Many of our clients have crafted Crisis Communication resources. If our team can be of assistance to yours during this difficult time, we would be honored to help you care for your employees.

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About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

In over 25 years of helping companies connect with their employees, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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