The Role of HR Technology in Crisis Communications

Posted by Cassidy Bowman-Prideaux on March 19, 2020


As the world adapts to changing realities brought on by the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) pandemic in both our personal and professional lives, it is crucial to re-examine ways to maintain open & clear lines of communication with employees now more than ever.

HR professionals everywhere have seen crisis communications pushed to the very top of their to-do list. HR / HCM technology can play a pivotal role in providing employees with a unified, trusted source of official information. Here are some key tips that apply to delivering effective, accurate and far-reaching communications across your organization.

 

Accessibility

Today’s workforce is tech-savvy and used to being connected across multiple devices and social channels. 80% of Internet users consume content and applications via mobile devices. That is how they share and get information.

Due to recent events, enabling mobile / remote access to communications and tools has quickly become even more of a pressing issue.  We need to be thinking about the fact that employees may only ever have access using a mobile device. This means optimizing your content for not only desktops and laptops but also mobile & tablets.

We previously shared information on the Vibe Connections blog and in the HCM Engagement Adoption Journey Infographic about how Progressive Web Apps, such as Vibe Anywhere can help address challenges with the current landscape with respect to mobile accessibility.

 

Helpful Tools

Billboards

Billboards on the homepage of your employee portal are a great place to use crisp imagery to “advertise” your communication; to grab attention front and center on the page. Where in-depth content is required, create a high-level ‘teaser’ billboard and link to content housed at another online location. Billboards can be utilized to promote company contests, policy changes, mission statements, such as a program page (see section below), etc. They can also be leveraged to bring attention to critical current events affecting the company, for example:

Pictured above: Current Vibe HCM “OneVibe” billboard examples

 

Program Pages

Program pages are where you have more digital real estate; a unified hub to communicate initiatives, policies and virtually any type of company specific content across your organization. Some Vibe HCM clients have utilized program pages as a place to aggregate benefits program information, giving back / philanthropic information, internal awards competitions and much more.

Pictured above: Vibe HCM’s OneVibe CoronaVirus Program Page

Pictured above: Customer Communication examples

 

Communities

Communities are a great place for collaboration and organic knowledge sharing, particularly for geographically dispersed organizations and/or situations such as our current “social distancing” reality. Communities allow employees to connect with one another through discussion forums, share information and maintain connection with their colleagues.

Communities also allow for leadership blogging capabilities, quick polls, FAQ documents and more.

Pictured above: OneVibe Community Home Page

 

In addition to content that is relevant company-wide, communities can also be quite useful to personalize content and messages to employees. The more personalized the message, the more likely an employee is to pay attention as it is of prime relevance to them. This may mean personalizing messages to specific departments or roles that are impacted differently by a situation, i.e. departments that have introduced a work from home policy vs. some for which that is not possible.

 

Employee Recognition

A key prerequisite for being an engaged employee is feeling that what you are doing is important and that your efforts are making a valuable contribution to the company. In times of uncertainty and added isolation, this type of informal “kudos” can make an even more impactful difference.

Many organizations have deployed standalone recognition systems; however these systems suffer from lack of adoption because they are separate sites not built into the work streams of the organization. Recognition capabilities have the greatest impact when deployed as part of an HCM platform. In this model, it is available as a unified feature within the broader deployment – driving adoption and higher visibility.

Pictured above: Sample Employee “Thanks Given”

 

Final Thoughts and Additional Resources

These are unprecedented times in our modern world. As a final takeaway, I’d like to offer up a few additional resources from industry thought leaders to augment the expertise of you and your HR & Communications teams:

–     A library of free resources provided on behalf of Harvard Business Review

–     Free resources from Gartner

On behalf of everyone at Vibe HCM, our hearts and thoughts go out to all of the people and organizations impacted. We also thank all of the healthcare workers and essential services in our communities who are working tirelessly to manage this rapidly evolving situation. Be safe and well.

 

Cassidy leads the Business Consulting and Learning teams at Vibe HCM, focused on guiding new clients through to successful implementation with high user adoption. Prior to moving to the world of HR/Payroll Software, Cassidy spent 14 years in HR, with an emphasis on recognition, engagement, internal communications and change management.

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