As the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases contuse to rise across the United States and the Corona-craziness continues, many businesses are asking what action they need to take immediately and what will be necessary if the epidemic becomes more severe. To keep employees, their families and your local communities safe, and to mitigate against business disruption, employers need to prepare, rather than panic. Regardless of how this all rolls out is, it’s crucial for businesses to have a plan in place in case of any future pandemic arises. My company, Leading Edge Connections, already exists in a 100% virtual environment, but many don’t so we wanted to share some tips for protecting your employees and your business during these super intense times.
Here are 5 very simple things everyone can do:
1. Stay on top of the news (the real news)
The rumor mills are spreading faster than the coronavirus itself, look to reputable sources for the facts. Employers should stay informed by regularly consulting the CDC’s latest Coronavirus updates and guidance for businesses.
- The CDC recently launched gov with extensive information for all U.S. residents, not just including business owners.
- The CDC has issued coronavirus guidelines for businesses and is updating them as new developments occur.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has a coronavirus fact sheet for businesses as well as coronavirus FAQs and resources.
2. Over communicate with your employees
During epidemics, rumors can spread fast and employers should provide employees with accurate information to avoid false panics. Ensure that you are able to communicate with all employees directly, to immediately inform them of any important updates. We have to remember that our teams rely on us for a sense of security and stability. Finding ways to touch base with them and drive authentic communication is a must. One brand has set up a counseling hotline and a prayer hotline to give employees an outlet for stress.
Leveraging fun platforms to communicate can assist as well. We use Workplace and Marco Polo a good deal to drop messages to employees and talk up the positives that are going on. The goal is to eliminate question marks! When people have unanswered questions they typically wander toward the negative. Pump up the positivity and the optimism. Let them know plans. Open up forums for ideas. Contribute, collaborate, connect!
3. Rethink What’s Possible
Let’s be clear, this is a concerning time. The pressure is high. BUT, that doesn’t mean we all need to focus on the doors closing, figurative doors. This is a time to rethink what’s possible. All of us are guilty of becoming married to certain aspects of our business. Now is the time to open ourselves up to the possibilities of new ways to operating, servicing customers, partnering, employing and much more. Don’t limit yourself to the walls of yesterday.
I once took a seminar where I learned a very valuable business lesson. The coach told us “In any situation there are endless possibilities. The statement ‘Anything is possible’ is not true, but endless possibilities is a reality. Work from that space.” I would challenge each of you to do the same. There is no shortage of creativity, no shortage of talent, no shortage of innovation. Capitalize on that during this time. Look for needs and fill them with your services.
4. Be sensitive to your customers’ needs
We all know that customer experience has been the name of the game for a while now. Don’t let that change during this time. The customer journey may need to be altered temporarily, but don’t sweat it. Look at it as an opportunity to improve your business and their experience. You may discover new lines of revenue, higher average sales per units, or better conversion! Be positive and look for gaps to fill.
Customers, like your employees, are concerned. Communicate with them. Listen to them! It’s a real opportune time to better understand their business, needs, lend assistance, and build that relationship department. Find ways to help your customers or potential customers.
5. Quickly go virtual
The reality is this. There are a ton of businesses that could have moved to a virtual work environment years ago. Old timey CEOs, control freaks, and fear mongers have stifled that for too long and now they are paying the price. Almost every office job can be done from home. Get that set up now! The benefits are out of this world in the long term. Find a virtual business model provider or work at home workforce provider and get moving! As I mentioned earlier, Leading Edge Connections lives, eats, sleeps and breathes in the virtual world. All our employees are home based. They cover everything from customer care, sales, technical support, data entry, hotline support, overflow triage work, and more for just about every industry vertical out there.
If you are looking to spin up remote work for your business and you need it quick, we can help. We can help with user set up, remote desktop environments, phone set up and services, or provision the entire business model with staffing as well. Don’t let this change in business put you out of business. From small shops to large companies it’s time for a virtual revolution.