While the end of the Covid-19 may not be in sight and the full extent of its impact remains unclear, leaders must embrace this time as one that will help them be better prepared for future hardships.
Are people really your "most important asset"?
Then would it be fair to say that you should focus on the physical safety of your people first, the mental health of your people second and then worry about collateral damage and the P&L next.
Join your people at the front lines
As part of creating that security for employees, leaders should be in the trenches with the team.
Working directly with the younger team members who had not weathered such a crisis is an important step in making them feel safe. Join the front line… so that they feel comfortable.
The efforts you organize to give back to those on the front lines serving your clients will have a deep impact on positive attitudes among your staff toward your commitment to your "most important assets".
Communicate regularly with transparency and authenticity to all stakeholders
In the coronavirus situation, walking the halls and hosting in-person town halls might not be possible, but there are many additional communication tools available, such as Beekeeper and other in-house social media channels.
The most important thing is to be first, to be right, and to be credible in communications with employees so that they are not panicked, or get conflicting or incorrect information.
The timing of communication also matters.
It’s important to set up a cadence and structure of communications, as this frees up your people to focus on the tasks at hand. It avoids a deluge of requests for information which can clog up the system at a time when executional focus is critical.
It’s in uncertainty where employee engagement dies. Don't let that happen.
Your ability to empathize and convey a vision of successfully working through the crisis can lead to emotionally charged higher performance.
Companies can use this time to build their brands internally and externally, and many do this by giving back to the community.
While employees are working at their stations or remotely, the societal focus has been on the brave medical personnel, uniformed services, and volunteers who are working to bring the situation under control.
Let's never forget that we live, work, and profit within this society which is now under unbelievable stress. Finding ways of contributing to the societal effort to combat this virus is a way of being responsible corporate citizens.
Upgrade, upskill and build systems
During this crisis you might have noticed that you are not able to reach all or the targeted audience with your messages in an instant.
Questions like these are common:
Where is the feedback loop?
How do I know whether people have read and understood my message?
How could I possibly get confirmations from all of my people that they have heard me?
How do my people feel right now?
What ideas might they have to make us stronger?
It might be time to roll-out your own in-house communication platform for secure and confidential communication with your people.
The Beekeeper Internal Communication Platform could become your future place for people, for secure communications, for recognition, for content sharing and commenting, for honest conversations and for real-time collaboration beyond the physical boundaries of a workplace.
Unite in a common purpose
One of the positive outcomes for employees of any crisis might be that they were able to find a stronger connection to the company.
Every crisis brings with it the opportunity to raise the morale of your people to come together for a common purpose.
Yes, not focusing on the P&L first is a bit of a conundrum for managers and companies. When it comes to business, the name of the game is profitability. All things considered, it’s rather ironic that not focusing on money seems to be the best way to improve employee performance and subsequently make more money.
Let's not waste a crisis.
Learn, restructure, build systems, upgrade, give back to your community and come out stronger on the other side.
Let's stay aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity.