By Steve Heywood (GM, Edelman Amsterdam) in Influence Online.
Information has been spreading like wildfire and for most of us, working from home, surrounded by news and indeed fake news about the pandemic and its impact on the economy and wider world (dolphins in the canals of Venice anyone?) – it’s a confusing and uncertain time when many colleagues and friends are also juggling additional responsibilities as ‘Headteacher’ too.
Throughout this uncertainty and rapidly changing situation, one of the most challenging in living memory, there’s a need for clear guidance and a friendly, familiar voice to fill the information void – particularly, if, like me, you are an expat far from home.
Indeed, though these are anxious times for any business leader. The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on COVID-19, highlights the role business is now expected to play as a source of reliable and timely information for employees during the current crisis. In research conducted across ten markets in early March, ‘my employer’ was shown to be the most trusted source of information on the pandemic situation.
So, despite clear financial and operational challenges for every organization – the fact the majority of people also expect business to act to protect employees and the local community through the current crisis will also present considerations for many to think carefully about future plans for coming through the other side in the best shape possible.
Though the temptation for management, swamped by navigating the current situation might be to go to ground – motivating a remote workforce to get on with ‘business as unusual’ requires clarity and the ability to demonstrate they are taking control of the situation in a way which is realistic, relies on official sources for updates and stays true to their values.
It’s refreshing therefore to be able to share our own content with clients as examples of clear but empathetic best practice. After all people’s health and wellbeing is involved here and the only thing that will get us through, whether we’re working remotely or together is people.