CORONAVIRUS: The Importance of In-house Communications in Times of Crisis


(This post was written by Guillaume Jourdan. Reach him via LinkedIn)

The world is currently in the grip of a very real crisis; primarily a health crisis, but clearly an economic one too. This is perhaps the most severe crisis we have experienced since the Second World War. In addition to the US increasing wine tariffs and major events such as Prowein, Vinexpo Hong Kong, and Vinitaly being cancelled, the world of wine must also deal specifically with the difficulties their clients are facing: hotels, restaurants and wine outlets will feel the full force of a drastic drop in footfall, all around the world.

We can expect an economic crisis of huge proportions, that much we know. But it would be irresponsible to give in to panic. We need to keep a cool head, analyse the best way to deal with this crisis, and make the appropriate strategic decisions. Within this context, we should not overlook the vital importance of in-house communications. First of all, clear instructions need to be given to all employees on how to protect their health. A company has a responsibility to provide its employees with a calm working environment. Health is, of course, the main concern and must take priority over everything else. Once that has been done as effectively as possible, school closures in many countries, restrictions on travel, the cancellation of events, and the closure of certain spaces will evidently have a significant impact on everyone’s personal and professional life. It is essential to anticipate the consequences, take all necessary action and keep all employees informed.

Every business’s duty now is to organize, explain, and reassure – and this can be a major challenge. Above and beyond medium and short-term organization, this is about reassuring people about the soundness of the company, about job security, and about the long-term outlook. Although it may not seem an immediate priority, this is what everyone is worrying about and it needs to be addressed, because people cannot work in an atmosphere of anxiety. It is essential business managers speak to their staff and get everyone involved in order to maintain calm. Good communications in times of crisis are vital in coping with the situation and reassuring staff. This is one of the services we at VitaBella provide for our clients; for many years now, this has been part of our consultancy packages and we have substantial experience in the field.

Because there is a positive angle to this crisis, a great hope for the future: the strongest businesses will come out of it reinforced, and companies that tackle this together will see the emergence of an incredible commitment in their staff. But this cannot be achieved without communicating and sharing in the most transparent way possible not only with employees, but also with clients and partners.

(This post was written by Guillaume Jourdan. Reach him via LinkedIn)