Informed Employees

Jonathan Bernstein crisis communication, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Response, PR, public relations, reputation management Leave a Comment

Don’t forget your front lines

When you’re in the midst of the flurry of activity that is crisis management, it’s easy to focus on communication with those outside your organization. Often forgotten, though, are the people still handling day-to-day operations.

In a Forbes interview, Thomas Watjen, the CEO that drove insurance giant Unum from near disaster to success story in the midst of economic downturn, described how he kept employees informed and engaged during the rapid changes in corporate culture:

The most important thing we did was separate the issues we had to deal with to “right the ship,” including dealing with regulatory and capital concerns. We said to our employees, “Listen, some of us will be focusing exclusively on putting these issues behind us, and the best thing you can do is focus on our customers.” We opened up the communication channels with our employees to be sure they knew all the issues we were working on and kept them updated on how those issues were progressing.

We felt it was important to keep employees focused on our customers because if you solve the problems and lose your customers in the process, you don’t have a business.

The last sentence really says it all. While your efforts are going into reputation management, crisis communication, and operational shifts, remember that you’ve still got a business to run, and in order for them to do their best work, you’ve got to have informed employees.

The BCM Blogging Team

Leave a Reply