Key Lessons from Messaging to Frontline Workers During Coronavirus

by Julie Sheedy, Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer, Loretto

While many businesses are accustomed to working virtually, essential workers have remained on site during the pandemic. In pre-coronavirus times, internal messaging routinely thanked staff, celebrated victories, updated employees and bolstered morale. During the past nine months, the volume of such messaging has risen significantly.

Still, the pandemic has led internal communicators to change tactics and messaging in spots.

When it feels stale, change the message

Fatigue has been a critical challenge during the pandemic: physical, emotional, even information fatigue. To keep staff engaged, some internal communicators turned to tasteful humor, used different angles and employed more testimonials than during a normal period.

Ironically, a major issue for communicators working with frontline workers was easing of lockdowns and related controls. As the summer began, and communities started to venture outside, communicators knew it was important to ask frontline staff to remain diligent about infection control.

This was more difficult than it might seem. Nobody wants a lecture, least of all overworked staff. Yet, as the pandemic rolled on, frontline workers relaxed, as did everyone else.

A critical difference with frontline workers is that their workplaces, such as medical and related care facilities, often contain a highly vulnerable population.

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