4 steps to manage internal communication in times of crisis

 In #COVID-19

“If you don’t communicate, others will communicate for you”

This is a recurring saying of Enko Education’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Ms. Fanny Moral, to emphasize the importance for Enko Schools to have transparent communication with parents and students at all times. This saying is even more valid in times of crisis, for all companies across all industries, since accurate information can get hidden by ambient chaos. 

Think about it: nowadays, the power of one misinformed tweet can lead to disastrous consequences. In this post, we’ll provide the 4 steps Enko Education has been through in order to ensure transparent internal communication throughout the covid-19 sanitary crisis, and why.

Step 1: Create a taskforce to direct the group response

An organization facing a crisis is just a fancy way of saying that a group of people are bracing themselves for uncertainty. As such, it’s important to have a team that focuses on analyzing and processing the situation to shed some light on the unknown. 

Using this strategy, Enko Education created a covid-19 taskforce managed by Mrs Baer Harper, Country Head of Senegal, to analyze the pandemic’s evolution, make projections and create action plans accordingly. This team of enko representatives with different areas of expertise gathers up to define the strategic guidelines that all 15 Enko Schools will follow during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Subsequently, mass communication campaigns are started to ensure the information is clearly shared with everyone directly or indirectly connected to Enko Education.

Step 2: Communicate formally and directly to all employees

Let’s face it, an organization without its people is just a legalized piece of paper; in some cases not even! In such times, it’s imperative to ensure that all members get reported what the taskforce decides, so as to calm everyone down. 

In order to set the tone for crisis communication, Enko Education’s CEO, Mr. Eric Pignot, communicated directly to all employees via a series of email campaigns, social media posts, Slack DMs, audiovisual messages & website blogs. Moreover, the monthly Ask Anything session, which is an occasion for everyone across the enko network to ask questions to the CEO, was especially dedicated to covid-19. 

Step 3: Maintain a transparent communication routine

According to Verne Harnish, bestselling author and successful entrepreneur, it’s imperative for organizations to host 4 kinds of team meetings depending on the level of strategic planning. This includes 15 minute daily meetings focusing on the operational level called Daily Huddles

Outside of the crisis, teams across the enko network have been following this framework for over 2 years now. Especially in times of crisis, these Daily Huddles allow the free flow of information from country to country, team to team, every morning. For this reason, Enko Education’s CEO believes that “Meetings are the pulse of a company”.

When you’re facing the uncertainty of turbulence on a boat or in an airplane, attendants and pilots’ first instinct is to communicate with passengers on the interphone to tell them that the situation is under control. 

In the context of the covid-19 pandemic, the entire team is your crew: you form an ecosystem and have to maintain the communication stream with them throughout this phase. In addition to weekly email updates and daily huddles, office hours are held twice a week on Mondays and Fridays via Zoom, so as to offer a safe space for teaching and non teaching staff across the 15 schools to voice their opinions.

Internal covid-19 support hotline

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Simultaneously, since the beginning of the crisis, any updates regarding our students’ academic life are communicated to them and their parents by email, whatsapp messages, social media, phone calls and on our website.

At Enko Sandton Campus for example, Caroline Mkosha, teacher in the Cambridge Programme pioneered Zoom lessons, allowing the school to extend communication with all students.

Step 4: Put stakeholders’ safety above all

Our students’, parents’, employees’ and partners’ safety being our main priority, it was imperative for us to close all schools first and implement distance communication methods right after. In uncertain times, doing so as soon as possible is simply the right thing to do in order to extend the virtuous cycle of reassurance nurtured internally to others, rather than going mute. 

Besides the mediums that were previously mentioned, information is shared daily to students during their live online classes from home. In some Enko Schools assemblies with parents are also held to gather their feedback and answer questions.

 

Monthly Ask Anything session with all employees

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Spontaneous communication is usually the best way to connect with others. In times of uncertainty however, organizing and planning transparent communication is the best way to diffuse information accurately in a timely manner. If you’d like to know more about the measures put in place in your nearest Enko School, contact us now!

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