As the coronavirus crisis has turned the world upside down, humanity is scrambling to regain as much normalcy as possible in an abnormal situation to form their respective New Normals. There is no doubt that the effects of Covid-19 on the global economy are plunged deep and long-lasting, with consequences that we might not even be able to predict entirely at this point.
From international conglomerates to small mom-and-pop stores, no business has been left unturned. More and more organisations are awakening to the necessity of strategising crisis management to curb the devastating effects of the coronavirus on their business.
The following 4 steps are immediate actions any organisation leader should direct to avert further damage and keep their operations afloat.
Crisis managers or a crisis management team, are increasingly growing entities in companies to rise up to the task of mitigating the effects of the current situation. The crisis management team specifically provide support, develop new regulations and communicate continuously with employees who have switched to working remotely.
An ideal crisis manager should have prior experience in handling uncalled for situations, executing new strategies fast while guiding a crisis management team to disperse necessary information.
It would be best for crisis managers to also embody the characteristics of being empathetic, flexible and patient, with excellent communication skills.
With employees potentially working from home and not meeting face-to-face as they used to, quality communication is of paramount importance. Virtual or remote communication habits can be regulated between teams to keep their progress honest and transparent.
Utilise the right digital tools to ensure that virtual communication and remote work can proceed without interruption.
Employers should be both mindful and straightforward when addressing all potential questions of their employees especially when faced with various safety precautions and guidelines. Acknowledge the uncertainty of the situation and reassure everyone that it is a collaborative effort to get through the crisis.
This is a dire time for business owners to revise their HR policies, particularly on sections involving employment law, health, and safety. Make sure employees cooperate and submit all required information to be updated due to the crisis.
In the circumstance that business owners or companies have no choice but to face the uncomfortable task of reducing salaries or terminating someone’s employment, professionally explain the situation while expressing empathy and extending rightful assistance where necessary.
Above all, all policies should be in adherence to any human resource or employment laws.
When faced with crisis related to public health such as the pandemic, business owners who provide health insurance for their employees may look into the possibility of getting better coverage, especially in case there is a confirmed infection of Covid-19 among their staff.
It has never been more necessary to look after employee wellbeing and do everything possible to keep team spirits up. Everyone aims to stay productive despite the challenging work arrangements, but ensuring that employees are healthy both physically and mentally is crucial for the business to keep its productivity in the long run.
A business with a long-term outlook will excel in workforce management by prioritising employees' wellbeing and investing in them.
Keep communication lines open and generously praise workers for their excellent performance, be present and ready to support them during these trying times. Many employees may feel frazzled trying to adapt to their remote work arrangements while balancing other commitments; for example, constant interruptions from children who are home for an indefinitely extended period.
People’s diligence and perseverance should be valued.
We are all looking to safer times when the coronavirus crisis comes to an end and day to day business can go back to normal. It’s worth bearing in mind that this situation will not last forever, though its aftermath will likely remain with us for a very long time. To quickly recap:
In the meantime as we handle this crisis to the best of our ability, let us make well-directed decisions and plans for the long run.
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