6-Step Framework For Communicating About COVID-19 With Your Staff

The 6-Step Framework For Communicating About COVID-19 With Your PT Staff

I know you have a million questions running through your head as a leader and PT practice owner with the weight of your clinic and staff on your shoulders (I am right there with you myself!)

…You’re trying to figure out how to handle communication with your team around the COVID-19 pandemic and what we need to do as Physical Therapists & PT Private Practice Owners during this time…

And here’s what I’ll say:

Our community needs us and we are essential to helping people in pain get back to normal naturally.

There are some immediate steps we can take as PTs and they are the same steps I took for my own staff communication at our practice in Harrisburg, PA – Madden PT.

*This information is accurate as of 1:30pm EST on 3/19/2020*

For more COVID Physical Therapy Practice Owner Resources and Guidelines and the most up-to-date info, please join our Facebook group: https://covidptgroup.com/ 

Here is the 6-Step framework for communication with your staff… at a minimum, these points should be covered:

  1. Acknowledge that we’re in a state of emergency.

    This is real. This is happening. Try to avoid “we’ll be OK” and other false assurances.

  2. Be transparent with your staff

    about the possibility of having to cut hours/pay or even close your practice temporarily. These conversations are difficult but necessary as it allows your team to prepare. 

  3. As a necessary service provider, we will remain open until we are ordered to close.

    However, if a team member is feeling stressed/worried/in a position they feel they can not serve – you should have an open door policy where they can discuss their concerns and take appropriate action.

  4. As a company, we’ve been through trials like this before.

    This time we are significantly more prepared and in a better position. We will do our best to hold the line as long as possible.

  5. Right now, focus on value you can be providing to our patients

    weekly phone call/email/text check-ins if they can not attend PT. Filming videos for people stuck at home. 

  6. The key for us is to weather the storm – cope – and be ready to ramp up as quickly as possible once this is passed.

    This event is finite: there is a beginning and end.

Follow those 6 steps to help you navigate this challenging conversation. 

The key on the personnel communication side is to be real with your staff, be transparent.

DO NOT make the same mistake I made in the past… DON’T have a lack of transparency and say “hey, everything is fine.”

That is not helping anyone.

Meet them where they are at. Share that it’s a dangerous time and that we are all trying to work through it.

Start that communication now.

We are all human and in this together. 

  Download the 6-Step Framework For Communicating About COVID-19 With Your Staff – PDF

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