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Transition Communications Planning For the ‘New Normal’ – Free Template

If you’re not in a permanent WFH (working from home) situation then there’s a good chance you’ve already started resuming your trips to the office this week. Which means you’ve probably noticed that many others have as well.

This is a clear sign that Canada is getting ‘back to business’. Great! But what does that really mean in terms of employee morale?

It would be unwise to assume that everyone is excited about ‘opening the economy’ up so quickly. It would also be unwise to assume that those same people feel safe and connected.

Now, more than ever, employee communications matters.

The way you engage with your employees and provide a meaningful opportunity for ongoing feedback communications, the more likely you will be able to ramp productivity back up. While you’re unlikely to see the same levels pre-COVID, this ‘new normal’ doesn’t have to mean not working.

What Should You Be Saying?

Firstly, it’s important to remember here, that it’s not all about what you should be saying – it’s also about what you should be asking. If you’re unsure of what you should be communicating to employees and other stakeholders during this time, ask them! Even if you think you know, ask anyway. Doing this will instantly send a message that you care.

It’s not enough to just take the feedback though, you then need to follow up to show that you care.

I created this a template for you to start mapping out who your people are, how you need to engage them, and the actions you will take to help them feel safe during this time of transition. Please fill out for your free download link below:


Getting Started

Stakeholders: Employees, Council and Board Members, Volunteers

Activities: Weekly status briefings, ‘ask the CEO’, thank you channel, virtual town halls, on-site q&a sessions

Team: In-house comms staff and part-time external content creators/owners

Goals: Clarify the current situation and planned roadmap forward; employees feel safe and supported in their work environment; high trust in leadership; strong sense of community and shared purpose despite changes including WFH policies; stop any kind of fake news; and ensuring there is up-to-date and clear guidance about changing responsibilities, activities and policies

Key Messages + Stories: How do we as an organization overcome the crisis and what are our top priorities right now? Remember to use the message mapping toolkit.

Target Personas: Home office workers, Factory/Essential Service workers, leadership, etc.

Budget: Outline what changes need to be made including cost-saving measures and faster retirement of inefficient and slow communication channels

Tracking and Measurement: Desired and reported Outputs + Outcomes (eg. CEO status updates, survey results, health and safety concern reports)

The Psychology Behind It All

If your main goal is to ramp up business and productivity, then you need to first appeal to your employee’s emotions. Humans are not robots, and no matter how hard you try to avoid having tough conversations, they will have them with or without you. It’s much better to be the leader in the ring. People want to know that you care before they want to know (or do) anything else.

Stay safe and be well.

Katie Robertson
[email protected]

p.s. Crisis Lab 4.0 is less than ten days away. If you want to hear more about how organizations are handling the pandemic, register you and your crew online today.

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