Part of our Mental health and well-being series

Accurately informing employees before world events can divert stress from the workplace

Employee mental health: External stress such as COVID-19

The spread of the pandemic and vaccine development may be out of your control. But accurately informing employees about world events can divert stress from the workplace.

Effective crisis communication can reassure employees getting buffeted by a dizzying array of public health emergencies and other crises.

1. Amplify valid sources.

Be a reliable source for employees by relaying information on the pandemic and other external news only from authoritative sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for instance, helps calm and consolidate information on the pandemic compared to minute-by-minute updates and fluctuating statistics from the barrage of news and social media.

2. Overcommunicate.

Provide reassuring facts on a consistent schedule, whether weekly or monthly. Err on the side of overcommunicating with employees during times of uncertainty.

3. Combat misinformation.

Sift through misinformation and bias that may be adding unnecessary stress. Use a free online survey tool or another method of anonymous feedback to help pinpoint what may be stoking fear and gossip.

4. Encourage socialization.

The workplace this year often is one of the few—if not only—remaining active social networks in many employees’ lives. Realize that, embrace it, and live up to the mandate for your business to provide additional emotional support in how you communicate with employees—and in how you encourage their feedback and extra time for (remote) socialization among colleagues.

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The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, investment advice or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, investment or accounting obligations and requirements.

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