The outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, is being widely followed by everyone, including the people at your company. People are probably chatting about it by the water cooler and more than a few people might be opting to work remotely for now.
As the day’s progress and the death toll rises, so does the panic. It’s a tough subject to address and as a leader at your company, you have the opportunity to navigate people through their panic.
Here’s how you can say don’t panic, without saying don’t panic.
At the top of your announcement address COVID-19 right away. Admit that even though you are not an expert, the CDC is their best resource of information about the virus. Point them in that direction.
Here’s the handy dandy link to the CDC’s COVID-19 resource portal. It has information on everything from how it spreads to treatment and prevention and the latest news.
Company guidelines can be anything from suggestions to mandatory measures. Right now we’re seeing an uptick in companies canceling all business-related travel. Some are implementing a temporary work-from-home policy.
These are case-by-case measures, but if you need help coming up with guidelines you can borrow ours.
To make this easy for you, we have a template ready to go. Feel free to copy and paste the announcement below and tailor it to your needs.
I'm sure everyone is following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the news, but I wanted to send a quick note about it.
There's a lot of misinformation about it, and I certainly am no health expert, so you should always refer to the CDC website for the most credible information.
Here are some simple guidelines. The tl;dr is don't panic, use good judgment, and wash your hands.
1. If you haven't gotten a normal flu shot in the last 6-12 months, do that immediately, since you are actually more likely to get the normal flu right now. You can get one at any CVS or Walgreens or your doctor.
2. Be more vigilant than usual about hygiene (wash your hands, use hand sanitizer). In the office, make an extra effort to wipe down surfaces and keep things clean.
3. If you feel sick, stay at home for a day or two. You don't need to quarantine yourself for longer unless you've actually come into contact with a known COVID-19 carrier. Use your best judgment, and err on the side of caution.
4. If you are planning to fly anywhere in the next 3 months, it's a good idea to reconsider those plans. I won't prescribe where you can and can't go, just stay informed and use good judgment.
Starbucks has a great announcement example. Read the open letter to all stakeholders from Rossann Williams, EVP, and President, U.S. company-operated business and Canada.
This is one of the first public announcements we’ve seen and as the panic persists, we expect to see more.
If a brief announcement hasn’t been made at your company yet, spearhead the initiative. Use the template above to start the conversation and help ease the panic of your colleagues.
At Drafted, we believe that your company network is your single biggest competitive advantage when it comes to hiring. Our mission is to make it easy for you to leverage your network in the hiring process to find the best candidates. Your network is already powerful, it’s just too much work to make it a priority over the day-to-day of recruiting. Companies that use Drafted see their employee referral numbers go up by 2x, their time to hire drop by 30% and their overall hiring efficiency increase significantly within just a few months.