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Neuger CO.LAB Recap: COVID-19 Communication to Customers & Employees

June 22, 2020

On June 17, 2020, Neuger continued the Neuger CO.LAB session schedule with the timely topic of COVID-19 Communication to Customers & Employees. Again, we were very satisfied with the turnout, hosting 30 participants who shared resourceful insight and strategies on how they’ve been navigating through this unprecedented time.

Session Two Hosts

Main Discussion Points

  • It is important to stay informed and be aware of how the work climate is changing. Stay ahead of the curve. Practice empathy and understand that people are coming from a vast network of backgrounds and industries, which influence how they’ve been able to adjust to COVID-19.
  • As you go back to the office, keep resources available for all employees, including multiple masks, hand sanitizer and required cleaning guidelines. If you can’t be 10 feet from co-workers, you must wear a mask!
  • It is crucial to communicate policies and sanitary requirements to clients; you want to make the client feel as comfortable and safe as possible.
  • It’s better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough. You can always adjust to the needs of the situation.
  • Consistently communicate with workers who continue to work virtually after offices are opened. Management must be proactive about holding every worker and client accountable for abiding by the safety regulations. Have a detailed contingency plan when someone does test positive.
  • Constantly emphasize the importance of community and communication, especially with updates about the group’s expectation with distancing, mask-wearing, etc.
  • Don’t skirt CDC guidelines because it can put the customer at risk.
    Stay true to your values to avoid looking opportunistic from a marketing perspective. If you want to give discounts, make it known that increasing accessibility or discounting products is your way of contributing to the situation. This depends on the industry.

Key Discussion Questions

Q: How important is it to communicate to the public about how they’re bringing their employees back to work safely? How do you manage expectations with clients and customers?

  • Let all vendors know the specific requirements for clients and workers. Have signs in the workplace indicating the expectations of mask-wearing and distancing measures.
  • Sharing your expectations with clients and vendors allows for better communication and business.

Q: Is it important to continue to mention that photos were taken “pre-COVID” when posting pictures online where people aren’t physical distancing or wearing masks?

  • It is important always to indicate that you are practicing safe habits in the workplace. You want to make sure that there are no misunderstandings with clients about whether or not your workplace is implementing social distancing because it can lead to uncertainty with furthering the business relationship.
  • Worrying about, for example, a brochure or ad that was produced before the pandemic hit is impractical because you cannot redistribute them.
  • Refrain from plastering examples of your group demonstrating social distancing all over your platforms. You are expected to practice safe habits, so don’t treat social distancing as an ad campaign.

Q: How do you respond to uncooperative employees and clients?

  • Remain strict in your policy. One client/employee is not worth compromising the workplace.
  • Exercise alternatives such as meeting at a neutral location, providing a mask for the client or worker, etc.
  • If a client does not respect your values and practices, especially during a pandemic, they most likely are not worth the time. IF they are disrespectful, it is important to be respectful and handle the situation professionally.

Key Link for COVID Resources

See our External Communications checklist here.

In Summary

We want to thank all who participated in this week’s session and for allowing us to present our experiences in managing our work despite COVID-19. Regardless of industry, it is crucial to support one another and share the approaches that have allowed us to communicate effectively and remain successful in the workplace.