- A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Discontinuity should give you the courage to implement changes and try things that you normally wouldn’t have done. Be proactive and innovative. Kill the ‘way we’ve always done this’ mindset.
- How we handle this situation will define how our company is seen for a very long time.
- Develop permanent solutions to these temporary problems. Use this time to design systems and tackle projects that we haven’t had time for in the past.
- Bring the future to the present. Determine where you want to go to determine what you do now. Weave this into all communication.
- Cash is king and overhead kills.
- If PPP wasn’t available, what would you do?
- Be CALM.
- Know your burn rate, get better financial reporting now.
- Look at worst-case and budget to that.
Operations & Returning to Work:
- We pay for IT solutions, use this time to learn how. Better leverage software and technology we already have to more fully implement. Use the downtime for process improvement.
- What do you stop doing now that you realize you don’t need to do again, ever? Think about how to best NOT do stuff.
- Do an idea campaign for your entire team. Start off by sharing some creative ideas to spur creative thinking and get the ball rolling.
- Use task forces to drive initiatives forward. Assign champions.
- Have a ‘Welcome Back Party’ when able to return.
- Create a communication map for staying in touch weekly with furloughed employees – delegate pieces of this to other leaders.
- Evaluate if we can bring some back early to build videos and become promoters.
- Address safety and communicate this to employees so they feel comfortable coming back.
- Have senior leaders take direct control of what people care about like safety. Put someone in charge of connecting the company through virtual fun – ideas and games.
Strategies for Now/Future Business Development:
- What can we haul ass for the next 8 weeks with PPP to get to a better place?
- Stay close to customers right now – schedule lots of time and continue to strategize with them.
- Get very strategic with your team on where the opportunities are now and in coming months, then get focused on testing and implementation of new options. What is important to our clients or prospective clients at this time?
- Advertising – now is not too soon to start if messaging is right. Adapt messaging to safety, cleanliness and distance.
- Will there be a pent-up demand for celebrations/product or service we can take advantage of?
- Bring your clients timely and critical information they need right now to position yourself for business in the future.
- Give back to the medical industry in some way (discount for medical professionals).
- Focus on the stories – clients, products, vendors, artisans, team – and how it relates to the customer experience.
- Keep it simple – spreadsheet with contacts and move on it now. Focus on new business now – be ready to jump in on the other side of this.
Team & Communication:
- Take notice of who is going above and beyond during this situation (and the reverse). Do this with your leaders, your team, your customers and your vendors. Remember others are doing the same with you. What you do now will be remembered.
- Hold virtual happy hours or coffee breaks to continue relationship development and team building. Incorporate a game like trivia.
- Elaborate on your mission, vision, values – make it a story.
- Don’t stop 1-1s with the team – do them virtually. Communicate, talk to everyone and find out how they’re doing.
- Personal notes for birthdays and anniversaries.
- Task force/council for momentum and engagement.
- Use Teams, learn more about using Microsoft 365.
Remote Working & Selling:
- Making sure their teams are properly equipped for this transition and technology and material. Members have been quick to adjust to the safest setting for their employees, with some using this time to evolve their technology within their organization whether it’s communication, paper-heavy processes that are shifting digital or more.
- Yesterday, Today, Blockers – used by Launch That for daily connection between managers and team members. What did you do yesterday? What are you working on today? What is blocking/hindering you?
- For Zoom meetings with more than 5 people – utilize mute and have attendees raise their hands so eliminate confusion between who is talking. Finding new cues for digital conversations outside of the normal, in-person, physical cues.
- Help employees structure their work from home days. Share routines and best practices across departments/teams.
- Live remote office – have all work-from-home team members ‘clock in’ to a Hangout meeting, Zoom meeting or other form of video meeting. People are only ‘at work’ if they are actively available on video with camera and microphone on.
- Brilliant.org for the entire company – an amazing learning site for computer learning.
- Watch your work-from-home team for burnout. Boundary between personal and work life is completely gone.
- Create a channel for your team members who are parents to ask questions/share ideas about working from home with kids. Allow work flexibility with different people partnering to make sure it all still gets done.
- Elevate your customer tech support to help customers communicate with you online.
- Goal is selling, not virtual selling. Accelerate using the technology we have and incorporate virtual processes.
- Offer 2- or 3-day work weeks or sabbatical opportunities to the team.
- Speak directly to stakeholders including vendors. Be creative in working out solutions with vendors. Leverage past performance and future potential.
- Working with landlords – overcommunicate, suggest options, don’t burn a bridge, make an offer. Be proactive in controlling the process and setting expectations.
- Look at the loan agreement (PPP) and make sure you understand terms for forgiveness.
- Enforce safety with customers with positive customer service – a smile in your voice.
- Have designated cleaners who are visible (with different colored shirts), limit touch points as much as possible, redesign spaces based on social distancing and capacity limits. Market/advertise how you clean. Can’t overdo it, perceptions have changed.
- Keep on top of what everyone else is doing during this crisis. Copy what they do well.
- Optics are as important as anything when it comes to safety. You can’t be too safe.
HR Leaders Top Ideas
- Remote Worker’s Survival Guide for Work From Home team members
- Call every manager every week – offer support and check on balance. Give managers tools and resources that apply in these difficult times.
- State of the business with employees weekly.
- Ask the team what would make them feel more comfortable at work.
- Now Hiring signs in all stores.
- Send links to team members to help them stay active at home – Planet Fitness online workouts. Share meditation or other apps for mental wellness.
- Provide extra incentives for essential workers on the front lines.
- Furlough is really temporary leave. Can continue to pay benefits (employer and employee costs). Furloughed employees can collect unemployment. However, when furloughed employees are invited to return, if they do not, they are no longer eligible for unemployment.
- Communication is critical – be empathetic and supportive.
- A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. View it as an opportunity to buckle down and accomplish things we’ve needed to do.
- Stay connected to employees we had to let go and continue to appreciate the ones we kept.
- Gratitude for having a job and being an essential business. ‘Get to’ versus ‘have to’ mindset.
- Cogent Bank & One Florida Bank – SBA Loans
- Jean Seawright
- Vestal & Wiler