Entry-level employees have a lot to learn in a short amount of time. Crisis communications training may not be a top training priority at first, but it should be part of your onboarding process. It doesn’t take much effort to make sure your entry-level employees are well trained and can help communicate during a crisis.
Each employee should be given instructions on how to talk about your company to customers and on social media. Entry-level employees are often the face of the company to customers and clients, so they should be trained on key company messages that they can deliver in normal times and during a crisis.
Make your employee handbook short and easy to read, and then actually review the handbook with the employee during their onboarding. Discuss proper communications about your company by employees, and any rules you have on social media use or communications outside the office. You want to make it clear that communications is important to your company and that they have an important role to play.
You can also include entry-level employees in crisis management drills. Many companies conduct crisis leadership exercises with the C-suite and upper management, but should also include employees at all levels of the organization. Every employee has a role to play in a crisis. Engage your entry-level employees in hands-on activities that help them think on their feet about how to solve problems.
As entry-level employees complete their orientation, ask them for feedback. New team members can often provide excellent insights because they don’t have any institutional baggage holding them back. Yes, you need to educate them, but you also need to learn from them. Ask your employees what issues they are concerned about and engage them so they feel empowered in their jobs.
In the event of a crisis, make sure entry-level employees know as soon as possible what is happening. During a crisis, everyone will get questions—not just the leadership—and you want to make sure all your employees are armed with accurate information.
For tools and techniques on entry-level crisis leadership training, contact Tucker/Hall.