Keep Employees Connected During an Emergency

Patrick Püntener
13.03.20 01:03

An employee app can help minimize disruption to operations by keeping your employees connected in unexpected situations, regardless of where they're working.

It doesn't necessarily take a global crisis such as the Coronavirus to urge organizations to introduce home office work at large scale to keep their operations going – local weather events or similar disasters, such as the bushfires that hit Australia in early 2020 are sufficient to disrupt work routines, processes and teams.

For LiveTiles and many other companies, this has led to redefining how we communicate in times of crisis. In the workplace, technology can help minimize disruption to operations by keeping employees – especially those who work remotely or at home – connected, regardless of where they are. In times of uncertainty, communication is key to help businesses safeguard their employees and navigate the unpredictable.

LiveTiles initiated the online event series «Corporate Communications Online Events» − a weekly webinar where we discuss the latest trends, challenges and solutions.

Corporate Communications In Times of Disruption

Our first event, Corporate Communications In Times of Disruption, will interest corporate communicators, tech decision makers and employee experience creators.

Configuration tips and best practices to keep employees connected during a crisis with our employee app Condense 

In times of emergency, an employee app gives companies the ability to send updates and alerts to employees instantly. However, it’s equally important to have two-way communication to receive feedback from your staff, especially with a globally and physically distributed workforce. We have compiled a list of key Condense features and best practices to leverage during a crisis.

  • Create an open and default channel in your employee app to provide a single source of truth for daily updates and safety recommendations and then ensure these high-signal updates reach everyone effectively by sending them as alerts or by using an illustrative header picture. If you already have a set of established channels, share updates and guidance regularly in channels that employees will be familiar with and checking.

  • Reduce bureaucracy: high-profile issues typically attract review by senior management, legal, risk management and a host of other functions, leading to a slow, cumbersome communication. Assemble a trusted team of communicators and enable them to publish directly by giving them Editor rights in the corresponding groups.

  • Don't assume that information creates informedness: Your employess might have direct access to many sources of information and you might reasonably conclude that there is so much information available externally that you don't need to do anything additional. But this is not true: creating and widely sharing a regularla updated summary  of facts and implications for you as an organization is invaluable. Activate push notifications and read-receipts to ensure important alerts and updates are seen or rules of conduct are acknowledged.

    Corona 123

  • Increase your communication cadence to share news and update daily or even more frequently. Tune your publishing process to be able to communicate in high frequency, respond to critical situations in minutes and leverage our features to automate, schedule and targed comms in advance. This allows you to constantly reframe your understanding of what's happening. Don't wait until you completely sure and know everything out of a fear of looking misinformed or indecisive. In a rapidly changing situation, a living document, with a time-stamped «best current view» is essential to learn and adapt.

  • Living digital content can enhance speed by avoiding the issuing and approving of multiple documents, and also reduces risk, since it can easily be updated or withdrawn if necessary. Our employee app provides a publishing process to update existing alerts and content and republish updates in the same article to always provide a complete and timely picture in one place and avoid confusion.

  • Establish a social channel for user-generated posts to receive feedback from the field and in case of emergencies. Quickly respond to questions and comments from your staff and set up an FAQ group.

  • Integrate videos to make information and recommendations more engaging. Simply establish a private channel on YouTube or Vimeo and publish your own videos for internal use only, or link official recommendation videos from your local government or other trustworthy sources. In our employee app, you can embed video URLs in your posts to provide a seamless experience or even use a video directly in your news header:

  • Support your teams at home and minimize stress by sharing encouraging and empathetic posts and making your leaders visible in your employee app.

  • Set up pages to provide structured information, such as policies, work instructions, process documentation, online training and learning videos, forms, templates and documents as well as links to access other tools to help your employees doing as much of their work remotely and without the need to travel.

    Condense Pages

  • Use our API, Microsoft Flow or Zapier integration to automatically publish relevant updates from official external sources.

Rely on an emergency-proof communication infrastructure

Prepare your communication infrastructure now for the next crisis and scenarios where your employees have to work remotely or can't connect to your corporate network at all (e.g. private laptops might not be joined to your corporate domain, or even the entire infrastructure at one of your sites might be affected and unavailable). Corona is not a one-off challenge. Additional phases and other epidemics should be expected in the future. Preparation and preemption are most predictive of eventual success, and preparing for the next crisis now is likey to be much more effective than an ad hoc, reactive response when the crisis actually hits.
  • Our employee app does not require a corporate IT infrastructure. The only thing you need is a public internet access and a smartphone (private or corporate) with a browser or our native mobile app.
  • The last thing you want to deal with is a complex onboarding processes. We provide simple and automated onboarding with self-registration and Azure AD integration for single-sign-on. Even users without a corporate email address can be included.
  • If you need to react quickly, a lengthy IT project is out of question. Even if you don't have an employee app yet, our instant deployment capability gets you quickly up and running − it literally only takes seconds to set up Condense and within one hour it is fully configured and operational.
  • If you have to include contractors and other external audiences in your communication, we provide multi-company groups and an integrated access approval process.

LiveTiles offers an extended 6 month trial and onboarding support to use Condense instantly during the Coronavirus crisis.

LiveTiles has a tradition of offering free use of its tools for wellbeing purposes under our LiveSmiles initiative. It is under this heritage that we are making our Condense employee app available as an extended 6 months trial, fully functional and free of charge.



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