In recent weeks, all over the world, everyone’s working conditions have drastically shifted to adapt to an ever-changing health crisis. Most of the population is learning what it is to work remotely and taking on new business procedures to avoid slowing down productivity. Fortunately, we live in a time where technology is easily accessible and only a mouse-click or finger-tap away to keep us connected with others. Companies are discovering new ways to improve employee engagement throughout an organization by either utilizing team collaboration tools they already own or adopting free ones. More than ever, it is important to be transparent with employees by keeping them informed on how your company will continue to navigate.

For many of us, our email inbox is filled with company updates from several different leadership perspectives, making it difficult to keep track of what is new and relevant. There has also been a spike in using video conference software such as Skype, Teams or Zoom. Video has enabled departments to collaborate virtually and the chat feature allows you to have a conversation instantly to a group or individual. There are many solutions available that bring us together, but we have found that a best practice is to provide employees with a central communications hub with persistent information to centralize the critical updates and messaging to help your employees remain safe.

As well as our Teams Rapid Adoption & Support service, Catapult is leveraging two different team collaboration tools to help communicate with our employees, as well as implementing at a number of customers to help improve crisis communications:

For customers who need to quickly create a custom Crisis Communication Page, you can utilize a Valo Crisis Communication Site. It provides a ready-built template filled with COVID-19 informational data, as well as the ability to add your own employee communications. You publish content to be seen in one central location to streamline communication and close knowledge gaps. Your Crisis Communication Site template exists within a Valo Intranet and runs on top of SharePoint and Office 365 for a user-friendly experience. You can enable an assortment of tools to have on the page such as alert news, targeted news, Valo FAQ, People Finder, RSS news, events, Quick Polls, Yammer embed, Power BI reports and social media feeds. When you need to highlight critical messaging, Valo has an Important Messages feature that allows you to push out messages under the menu bar for better visibility. Of particular interest to many customers is the ability to provide this information via mobile app.

For companies who have embraced Teams as a central collaboration point, you may want to consider implementing the Microsoft Crisis Communications App. It is a Power Apps template that allows you to create a Crisis Communication Page within Microsoft Teams. You will have the capability to share your work status to simplify collaboration and increase remote productivity. More importantly, your company Admins can publish internal news, updates, and RSS feeds for the latest information from the CDC. For Microsoft Power Apps users, Microsoft is providing temporary access to a premium feature, Power Apps Push Notifications, that allows you to push information to users without having a premium license.