What You’ll Learn
- Strategies of top companies to keep employees informed about the coronavirus
- Ideas to make employees feel connected and heard during the outbreak
- How organizations are using Dynamic Signal to deliver top-down communication
It started slowly. I recently noticed something that a customer was doing with our Dynamic Signal platform to keep their employees informed about the emerging coronavirus (COVID-19). I thought: Wow, that’s really smart of them.
Then, as the headlines about the global outbreak became more urgent, it transformed into a waterfall. I saw more and more customers creating some amazing and innovative communication strategies – and using our platform to execute them.
Even in these uncertain times, it has been an incredible source of pride here at Dynamic Signal to see how integral our platform has been to talented communicators as they share critical information to everyone while helping maintain business continuity. It’s one thing to build a platform to do that. But something else entirely to see it happen before your eyes.
We even started a list of best practices internally, so that we could share great ideas with all of our customers from their peers.
But it dawned on me that there’s a lot of goodness here that everyone should see. Maybe your organization doesn’t use Dynamic Signal as the hub for internal communication and employee experience. Still, perhaps you can mimic some of these ideas with the systems and channels that you do have in place as you’re striving to share critical messages with your people.
We’re all working extra hard to keep the bonds and connections within our organizations tight. Internal communicators also feel a sense of kinship. In troubling times, communities come together to help one other. Here’s a contribution from Dynamic Signal with examples that highlight the stellar efforts of our customers.
Source of Truth
All communicators struggle with the problem of too many channels. Email. Intranets. Various collaboration systems. But our customers rely on their Dynamic Signal platform as that single source of truth where employees can expect to receive – including on their mobile devices – company news that cuts through all that noise.
- COVID-19 Categories. Almost every customer has created a separate platform category to find the latest outbreak information without searching through long feeds or complicated navigation. We’ve seen posts on everything from workplace health best practices, work-from-home policies, emergency preparedness plans, and how to address customer questions. Companies also are posting links to the latest information from sources such as the CDC. The list of ideas truly is endless – and endlessly creative. Some of them are even coming as a result of employee requests. It shows the depth of thought and quick-response tactics communicators are putting into keeping their people safe and informed.
- Pinned Posts. Customers are highlighting the most crucial information that everyone needs to know by “pinning” them to the top of their news feeds. This way, it’s the first thing everyone sees when they open the platform.
- Newsletters. Organizations are creating regular newsletters that compile coronavirus-related posts and sending them to every employee. Some have designed special images for the newsletter banner that quickly identify the topic. That way, they’re not missing something important.
- Two-way Communication. Companies take advantage of the comment functionality to get real-time feedback and questions. One well-known company whose employees are in public every day, also asks its people to share personal stories – highlighting why their efforts matter.
The platform enables companies to send what we call broadcasts – push notifications or alerts – directly to mobile devices, desktop apps, and other channels (Microsoft Teams, Slack, and so on). In times of crisis, there’s simply no substitute when it comes to getting the attention of our people.
- Time-sensitive, Critical Information. Customers are using broadcasts to share coronavirus information that everyone needs to hear immediately. Office closures. Changes in critical procedures or policies. Messages from the CEO.
- What We Know Now. Organizations are sending daily broadcasts to their people about developments and what has changed since yesterday. Even when they don’t have something new to share, they’re telling employees precisely that. By keeping them in the know, organizations are making their employees partners in getting through this.
One of the most popular features of the platform is especially useful right now in directing employees to find the right information. Typically, companies have Quick Links – visual icons at the very top of the platform and easy to access on mobile – that send people to their pay stubs, company policies, cafeteria lunch menus, and so on. Now, there’s also information about the pandemic.
- Company Updates. One of the world’s most recognizable brands created a Quick Link to house all of the updates/broadcasts/information that it sends out daily.
- Travel Permissions. As companies require special approval for work-related travel, some customers are setting up Quick Links so employees can ask the right people with a travel request – simplifying an otherwise confusing process.
- Health and Safety. A healthcare system customer has a Quick Link that opens a custom page with a message about staff wellness being the highest priority and directs employees to where to find information about testing, when to isolate, and more.
What really keeps communicators up at night? I’d venture to say is worrying about if the super-critical messages they sent to employees are received. That’s never been more critical than now. With this feature, communicators can mandate that employees acknowledge a message. Organizations can know who received something and who needs to have the message sent again. It’s a great tool to ensure everyone is informed and aligned.
- Remote Work Ready. We’re seeing companies use acknowledgments to make sure employees are prepared to work remotely as offices close. For instance, “dry run” messages are sent requesting that employees test their Wi-Fi, VPN, Zoom, Outlook, and so on from a remote location. They can acknowledge that they’re good to go or indicate that they need assistance.
- New Procedures. Things are changing fast, and some companies are making sure employees understand new protocols by acknowledging messages. One example is when hospitals limit who can be on the premises. Everyone on staff needs to know to help enforce that health and safety measure.
Posting videos on the platform can convey a sense of authenticity that sometimes doesn’t come across with the written word. During this crisis, we’ve seen customers make excellent use of video that isn’t necessarily polished. Often, executives are speaking from their offices. But they capture the emotion and concern of leaders – showing that they’re serious about looking out for the welfare of their people.
- CEO Videos. Dynamic Signal CEO Eric Brown uses our platform, which we call Dispatch, to send almost daily videos to employees. They’re short (about two to three minutes), unrehearsed, and straight to the point. When feedback through comments indicates employees still have questions, Brown follows up with answers in the comments or other videos on those specific topics.
- Executive Team Videos. An internationally known brand uses videos from multiple executive team members to keep them abreast of the latest outbreak news.
- Good Health Practices. One organization created a video with employees demonstrating the proper hand-washing technique set to the tune of a 20-second alternative to “Happy Birthday.”
Our platform allows organizations to make some content shareable. That enables employees to amplify messages by sharing company-related information (with approved text) to their social networks. So many of our customers are leaders in their industries – and have knowledge that can benefit the public. Their most passionate advocates are helping get the word out. Here are just a few examples of customers demonstrating their expertise and leadership.
- Fighting Cyber Criminals. One technology company wrote about watching out for scammers who are embedding malware on websites claiming to provide coronavirus information.
- Assisting our Furry Friends. A company posted tips about keeping pets safe during the outbreak.
- Bringing Scientists Together. A pharmaceutical company posted an article by its chief science officer about the importance of coming together with their peers to fight the coronavirus.
I have a final thought about perhaps the most remarkable thing our customers are doing with the platform. They’re creating a safe space so that everyone can get a (virtual) hug.
There’s a lot of concern, trepidation, and even fear throughout organizations right now. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next. It’s why there’s something very human about wanting to hear from people in authority and each other, to talk through what we’re thinking, and just know that we’re not alone.
Customers are using the platform to convey a message that their company is here for them and that together, they’ll get through this.
Did I already mention that we’re really proud of our customers?