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Research Results

Internal Communication Experience of Coworkers During COVID-19

By Katja Werbrouck

Capture d’écran, le 2020-04-30 à 14.44

In April 2020, UCLouvain and moodfactory carried out a survey on the experience of internal communication of employees and managers during the COVID-19 crisis. This survey is unique because it gives the coworkers perspective.


The first report is focused on the lockdown period. In a second step we will also publish our recommendations on communication during the lifting of COVID-19 related measures.


The main lessons learned:


  • Overall, the efforts made to communicate in these times of crisis are appreciated. We see a clear improvement in the satisfaction of Internal Communication when we compare these results with those obtained before the crisis.

  • A majority of companies are taking steps towards collaborative tools to keep in touch with their employees.

  • Communication needs and preferences, whether in terms of channels, formats, content, are very diverse and depending on the impact of the crisis on the employee. We distinguish 5 categories of employees.

  • We feel that in addition to clear directives on the measures related to COVID-19, the coworkers expect

    • an empathetic communication (which takes into account his/her personal situation),

    • a reassuring communication (which takes into account the anxiety-provoking dimensions of the situation)

    • and reliable communication (who anticipates needs and who is transparent, honest, present and proactive).

  • We also conclude that employees are looking to the future today. They expect clarity both about the future of their organization as their personal future.

  • In the comments we also observe that this crisis will have a direct effect on employee engagement on the longer term, and this depending on the perception coworkers will have of the behavior of their organization and their management during this crisis.

  • Finally we see that the importance of maintaining human contact between coworkers is becoming more and more important.


Finally, I would like to thank the entire team who worked hard to carry out this study and make it available to internal communication professionals as quickly as possible. Special thanks to François Lambotte & Déborah Horlait at UCLouvain and Elke Vanleerberghe, Leen Vanlierde, Joris De Wolf at moodfactory.

Download the full report here.



Katja Werbrouck is co-founder of the Internal Communication agency Moodfactory in Belgium. Before being a consultant, she started her communication career by leading the Internal Coms of the largest Belgian telecom company. Katja is an academic lecturer at UCLouvain and president of ABCI, “l’Association Belge de la Communication Interne”.

Capture d’écran, le 2019-04-03 à 17.31.5
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