|Storm clouds clearing over NYC|
It is tough for employees to meet their commitments and helping them to manage their commitments is an excellent way to achieve a supportive business culture.
How Do I Communicate Effectively?
Start to communicate with your employees about how they can help to get the business back up and running once the emergency conditions are over.
Communicate effectively by keeping your statements short. Let them know what your progress is and that you are concerned for them and the business. Employees will take great comfort in knowing the business is there for them to get back to and that senior managers are making that a priority.
Try to create a schedule so that employees know when you will next communicate with them. Ask your employees for their input, they probably know what is (and isn't) a priority in their role. Don't make people keep checking in, but keep them involved.
If you're advising your CEO on communication tone and style ask them to keep it short and provide leadership. Ask them to try not to tell personal anecdotes during these communications as empathy may come across as self-indulgent or combative.
What is HR's Specific Role?
Within the HR function, you need to coordinate between local HR people and your corporate HR structure to make sure that you can provide services to the local team in the country where the emergency has happened.
You need to create separate communication plans for the employees who were part of the emergency and the employees who work with people who are in the emergency area.
Use your existing plans to coordinate your staff and provide as much support as possible to your employees. Once the emergency is over, you need to review your performance and document the skills you have learned. If there are people that need to be acknowledged for their commitment or for their heroism, take the time to formally do that.