DSR leaders have been taking note of what works as we adapt and overcome the challenges we face in the current pandemic. We are fortunate to be in the privileged position that we may still serve our clients during this time and this article suggests best practices for adapting to this environment.
COVID-19 has brought about a new normal. Uncertainty is the reality for much of the globe. Amidst the turbulent market conditions and sometimes hectic actions of countries’ governments, it’s vital for business leaders, fortunate enough to still be in operation, to stay calm and focused on urgent measures: encouraging employees, helping clients overcome difficulties, and doing business as usual, as much as that is possible. DSR Corporation is always ready to share its’ experience in organizing a company’s internal and external activities in the face of uncertain risks and extraordinary challenges.
It’s safe to say that to handle any crisis your company should act in 3 stages:
All the three stages should be considered by the company’s management concurrently. The sooner the better. That’s why you should act without any hesitation at the same time plan strategically with the “big picture” in mind.
Today we are going to cover the first stage, Response. It’s crucial to understand that an unpredictable emergency situation stirs a lot of uncertainty in people’s minds. Mass hysteria on social media adds a great deal to it. That’s why resilient leaders should exercise emotional intelligence to show empathy and compassion for employees whose priorities have shifted to concerns about family members health.
The first priority is to ensure the health and safety of your team, followed by their economic stability. The best way to help your customers is to take care of the team.
Transparency is another key element of the “Response” stage. It will help to greatly reduce the level of uncertainty and maintain trust, perhaps even growing trust in the process. This applies not only to your employees, but also to client-relationships.
While transparency could be thought of as a strategic solution, clear, concise, and timely communication is a tactical step to achieve the necessary level of transparency.
Focus on your mission – that’s the overall priority for every business. Despite any temporary hurdles and difficulties, the main goal for a company is to do business as usual and help its’ clients to overcome the challenging situation.
The Response stage can be broken down into 3 steps which will help to guide your team and customers in a time of crisis.
Now, with the overall strategy is outlined, it’s time to share some practical tips to keep your employees and clients engaged and your business running.
1. Ensuring the Health and Safety of Your Team
During this pandemic, it’s necessary to avoid any contact and maintain social distance to stop the virus from spreading. Your employees should work remotely if they can. You can help them to get used to home office with tips to create working environment and minimize number of distractions.
Forewarned is forearmed. It’s vital to send corporate guidelines on how to act and practical tips from government and health agencies to help avoid harm.
Ensuring your team is safe:
2. Tips for Effective Remote Work
Remote work can be challenging for anyone. To keep your team engaged, help your employees organize their working environments, and reduce overall anxiety, you can use following tips. They can be broken down into 2 categories: team level and employee level.
3. How to Help Clients Overcome the Crisis Turbulence
Just remember that to help customers you should ensure health and safety of your own team first. But some actions are to be taken concurrently. It is of paramount importance to deliver a clear message to your partners and clients that you’re open for business.
Transparency and proactive action are the key elements of maintaining and building trust in case of an emergency situation:
4. Working from Home with Kids
Working from home with kids adds an additional level of complexity and stress. The struggle is real! Here are a few suggestions of things to do to help balance it, especially for family where both parents are working full time and from home.
Not all screen time is created equal. Educational screen time is a great example. There are a lot of resources online (many of which are free) that will keep your child of any age engaged for hours, such as https://www.khanacademy.org/. There are likely similar programs available in your language or country.
Have breaks together. Take breaks together from work, homework, or educational activities.
Exercise and outdoor time. Kids have endless energy and can get cranky and mischievous if they don’t get to expend it in a constructive way. The best option, of course, is to let them play outside (away from other kids in our current crisis), but that can be very challenging. There are things you can do at home. For example, for the little ones there are interactive yoga and exercise videos available free on YouTube. Similar programming can be found for any interest and age.
Balancing work with kids. If both parents are working and child care help is not available, depending on the child’s age, you may have to try different things. For older kids, it’s a matter of creating the schedule together and having check points to provide help and assess progress.
For younger children, it’s a bit more complicated as they require assistance or have frequent questions. Some of the above resources can be a good way for younger kids to have independent study/play time.
Create alternating schedules with your partner - for example, one of you works for 4 hours in the morning while the other watching kid(s) and potentially able to do some work, and then switch in the afternoon. This of course then leaves hours in the evening for both of you to finish work after the kids are in bed.
5. A Turning Point for any Business
The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word “crisis”. One stands for danger, while the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but don’t miss the opportunity.
Clear thinking, transparent communications, timely decision-making, and proactive thinking will be recognized both by your employees and clients. Seize the opportunity to emerge even stronger from a crisis situation and use it as leverage to build trust with your partners and consolidate your team.
Stay safe and prosper!