Crisis is a strong word, but one that is fitting in today’s unprecedented climate. You could define a crisis as “a time when important decisions need to be made” – and now is no exception. These decisions will shape how well a business manages through this crisis, as well as – crucially – how well it will come out the other side.
Keep in touch with your staff (and contractors)
Whatever you do in whatever sector, your people are your organisation’s engine. It’s critical that the business remembers their staff are going through uncertain times too - both personally and professionally. The Government has announced several support packages for varying scenarios – so it would be wise to tap into these where and when it is right for your business.
Whether they are still working in the office or on site, working from home, or have been “furloughed” or temporarily asked not to come in, your staff will remember how you treated them in this difficult time. That’s especially important to note, given that you’ll want them fully engaged for when this is over and we return to some degree of normality. Have a look at the CIPD’s Covid-19 Factsheet for employers for more information.
Do your research
Make informed decisions on what is best for your business. With every day that goes by – despite the fact they all merge into one! – there is an increasing amount of detail available to help make the right decisions, whether that be with your staff, your business rates, or your financing options. The first port of call should be https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Don’t ignore your suppliers
We’re all in this together. Talk to your suppliers – they will be under strain just as you are. Where you can foresee difficulties, discuss options for resolving problems in a way that has the smallest impact on you both. You will both want your relationship to come out stronger after all of this.
Look after your customers
Do what you can to help those who pay you… they will remember your reaction to this crisis and the important decisions you made. Strong relationships are often built through times of crisis or conflict, so there are opportunities here to showcase your proactivity and care for customers. Where they want detail you can’t yet provide, don’t be afraid to say “we don’t know yet” – be an advisor, empathise and signpost to the best sources of information that’s right for them.
Be ready for the kick off
This “crisis” and the impact it’s having on the country, our businesses and our personal lives is only temporary. Over the coming weeks and months, if we’re doing everything right with our staff, clients and suppliers, things are going to kick off again before we know it. Let’s make sure we don’t sleep walk into it and miss out on the bright opportunities that this storm will eventually reveal.