With all the information swirling around about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and how to apply for its loan programs, and how to navigate the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and how a business should manage social distancing, I thought I would provide a bit of down-home, practical business advice to help you through the business impacts of this pandemic.
- Stay True to Yourself – First thing’s first, stay true to your personal and business values, your True North. You will have many opportunities to test them over the coming months and the one thing you cannot lose in this process is yourself. If you have written values, look to them now and ensure they still ring true. If not, revise and republish them. If you or your business don’t have written values yet, now is the time to create them. Click Here for the exercise to develop your personal or business values.
- Treat Your Employees (and Yourself) with Dignity and Respect– Regardless of the state of your business, your employees will play an important role in assisting you through this time and as you recover. It’s important to remember that everyone deals with situations like this differently. Allow them the dignity to grieve, process, and adjust. Respect their individual needs. You do not have to offer the sun, moon, and stars or even guarantees. Just be there, be their rock, and listen. Should the business situation dictate the need to let people go, do it with the same dignity and respect and remember to help those who remain to grieve. They have lost friends and associates. Give them time to process this change, and they will respond. And don’t forget to take care of yourself and give yourself this same dignity and respect.
- Maintain Accountability for Yourself and Your Staff – You still run a business, even if everyone is doing so from home right now. It is important for you and your staff to maintain accountability to deliver on the goals for the business and their individual roles. Though goals, especially sales goals, may need to be adjusted during this time, if someone is accountable, they still need to manage to clearly defined expectations, measure their performance, and accurately and completely report their status. In fact, people need structure and a feeling of accountability now more than ever. Insist on it.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate – This cannot be stressed enough. Remember to develop information in a way that’s authentic to you and deliver it in the way others need it. Keep your employees, vendors, partners, and other stakeholders informed on the true state of the business. They all likely know, or think they know, anyway. If you don’t have an answer, say you don’t know, but also say you will find out and get back to them. What they need from you is honest answers to their tough questions, and to see you lead the way and follow-through.
If you would like to discuss any of the above suggestions, or any other business issue with a trusted, seasoned business consultant, I am here to help, free of charge or obligation. This is my give-back to the business community during this unprecedented time. Click Here to schedule a consultation.
Finally, please feel free to forward this information to any business owner or leader you know who might find this information of value.