With some businesses COVID19 has been tough. Others have been crazy busy or are marching on business as usual. Business owners, how are your rising to the occasion? If your business has taken a downturn, how are you preparing for your business' comeback? Consulting with an HR or business consultant is a great way to get a different perspective.
Here are some tips our HR consultants are sharing with companies in these challenging times.
1. Review your processes for maximum efficiency.
Time is money. If your business is running like a well oiled machine, you will be able focus on innovation, improving your service, and profit by eliminating time wasters.
Your team will perform better and provide better service to your customers.
What can you automate? What tasks takes the most time? What projects have you been putting off? Are procedures documented and up to date? What product or service can you take to the next level or needs a facelift?
2. Increase your communication with your customers and prospects.
If you are temporarily closed, let them know you miss them, how to get by until you reopen, and that you are looking forward to seeing them soon. Engage via social media, your web site, newsletter, emails, google. Is there something you can offer online to continue to generate income? Can they buy gift certificates online to support you?
If you are still open, let them know you are practicing safe protocols, any changes in how they do business with you, and that you are open for business and ready to serve.
There is a saying that says when times are good you should market. When times are tough, you must market. Consulting professionals say trimming expenses may help with your rebound but be sure to still invest in marketing.
3. Increase your communication with your employees.
If you are currently open, check in with your team regularly (at least weekly) to make sure they doing okay personally and that they have everything they need to do their job. Reassure them about how the company is doing through this time. Make sure they are practicing safety during this time.
If you are temporarily closed, check in with your employees weekly to see how they are doing.
Keep reminding them this is a temporary closure and how you are preparing to reopen.
Keep them updated on resources that can assist them in the interim.
Retaining well trained staff will be the key to meeting the increased demands of the public when you reopen. Training employees takes time.
Share the state of your business. What employees imagine in the absence of information or infrequent information is always worse than the reality. Some leaders are holding these updates daily.
Reassure them about how the company is doing through this time and this too will pass, so they won't be compelled to look for another job.
But be sure to be honest, if times are tough, be sure to let them know that too and different ways you are working to overcome it.
4. Engage your team on how to make a difference, with some fun and best practices.
Taking action is empowering even if you cannot control everything that concerns you.
Can your business give back as a team? Is there a cause that is near and dear to your team that you can safely support? Many companies are making masks, hand sanitizer, reaching out to healthcare workers to show appreciation.
Host a virtual happy hour, coffee, lunch, breakfast with your team. Put a fun twist on it.
Encourage your team to fill up on positive and uplifting content, get out and move, practice gratitude and how to de-stress.
5. Prepare to meet new demands.
Do you expect temporary increased demand? Will you need short term help? Can you recruit to the gig economy who may need to make up for lost wages after returning to work? Can you bring on interns? Do you have effective onboarding, training programs and recruiting processes?
In these crazy times in the midst of a flurry of government intervention, it is important to remember business owners have built your business through innovation, leadership, persistence and perseverance. Don't be distracted, take time to regroup, retool, and prepare.
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