IC Matters

Employee Comms

New Poppulo webinar: How to help leaders communicate like they need to during COVID-19


 — May 21st, 2020

New Poppulo webinar: How to help leaders communicate like they need to during COVID-19

The founder of Redefining Communications, Jenni Field, recently had a conversation relating to business leadership and COVID-19 that was quite different to what many of us will have read or heard about.

“The exec team wants to get back to the office as soon as possible.”

“Why? You can all work at home.”

“I think the CEO is struggling with having authority on video calls.”

It gave yet another interesting insight into the myriad challenges CEOs and executives have had to come to terms with over the past few months.

From the most junior office or shop floor worker to the highest executives, workplace norms and expectations have been completely upturned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The crucial difference for CEOs being that there is an even greater imperative on them to lead their organization’s through the crisis, and to be highly visible and accessible while they do it.

Executive communications: Helping your executives provide strong, effective leadership in times of transition

As Kristin Brownstone, director of ROI Communication stresses: “How leaders lead during this time will be remembered for years by their employees”.

But as Kristin and Alyssa Hagan, Associate Director of Internal Communications & Engagement at Encompass Health, will discuss at a forthcoming Poppulo webinar, these are times when leaders may need help to deliver on their employees’ expectations.

That’s where Internal Communication and HR professionals come in. They are perfectly placed to help leaders understand what different groups of employees across the organization are feeling, what their fears are, and how to effectively address these issues through visible communication.

There’s been a lot of commentary around what constitutes essential services during COVID-19, but Brownstone believes that in the context of the current crisis “communications is an essential service for employees”.

People CRAVE communication during times of crisis and employees trust their leaders more than any other source of information on COVID-19. It’s our job to make sure leaders understand this and that now is not the time to go dark. — Kristin Brownstone

This is something Alyssa Hagan knows all about, having led the communications strategy of an organization in a sector hit earliest and hardest by the pandemic, healthcare.

During the Poppulo webinar on May 28th, she will outline how she worked with the Encompass Health leadership team to get the information they needed to share, in the right tone and the right way, through the right channels, to their 40,000+ employees in 37 states and Puerto Rico, in the rapidly changing early days of the crisis.

She will highlight the role leadership communication has played through the crisis, from the early uncertain days where the priority was on establishing a source of truth for employees, keeping them informed about how the company was responding, providing them with reassurance about their safety – on issues such as procuring PPE, for example – and acknowledging their emotions.

Hagan will also outline how leadership adapted to and leveraged the communication tools best suited to engaging a workforce that is 78% non-wired, including how she worked with Encompass Health’s President & CEO Mark Tarr to very successfully re-imagine their latest Town Hall meetings, and the effective use of engaging video by Barb Jacobsmeyer, EVP, President of Inpatient Hospitals, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Elissa Charbonneau.

The best on employee communications delivered weekly to your inbox.

By clicking “Accept all cookies” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your browsing experience, analyze site traffic, and serve tailored content and advertisements.

Cookies preferences

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Manage consent preferences

Strictly Necessary

Always Active

These cookies are necessary for our website to function. They do not store any personally identifiable information and are usually only set in response to actions made by you, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work.


Functionality cookies are used to remember your preferences. They make the site easier for you to navigate by remembering settings you have applied, detect if you’ve already seen a pop-up or auto-fill forms to make them easier for you to complete.


Targeting cookies are used to deliver ads more relevant to you and your interests. These cookies can also be used to measure ad performance and provide recommendations.