During a time of uncertainty with a disrupted economy, the strongest tension can be found internally with your employees. One of the best ways to avoid this tension and maintain these relationships is to reach out and let them know the plan of action and operation during this time. With many businesses, the best plan of action is "it's better we should all suffer a little, than any of us suffer a lot," according to leadership expert Simon Sinek.
Internal Relationships - Your Team
Your staff should be among the first to receive communication about current events and how they might be impacted. Here are a few suggestions for working with your team to navigate through times of uncertainty.
If layoffs or furloughs are expected to preserve the business, make these individuals aware as soon as you can. Transparency and communication with this relationship are critical to maintaining these relationships. Develop a plan to reintroduce these employees back into the business once the dark period has passed, and make all parties aware of this plan.
Most businesses are able to thrive simply because they seek out long term goals. When developing a return plan, prioritize the top talent of the agency based upon their skills and their responsibilities. As business begins to pick up and the demand increasing, have this talent start to return to work at the same rate. You do not want to bring back too many employees until the workload justifies it for the overall business.
During this time of reduced services, take advantage of remodeling your business. In order for your business to maintain success and stay competitive at the turn of the economy, allow this time to shift duties and assignments around increasing production. This is also a good time to take advantage of employee certification and trainings that may have gotten behind while trying to maintain the customer demand.
External Relationships - Customers, Supply Chain, etc.
Like your customers, a plan must be developed to reintroduce customers and the supply chain vendors that you work with regularly back into the business. To start with, begin with maintaining your customer relationship.
Show Support During The Disrupted Economy
If your business is unable to provide services or products for your customers, assist them with substitutes to get them through until business is operational. For example, if you own a nail salon take advantage of this time to offer at home tutorials for your customers. Provide videos on how to keep nails clean and filed appropriately until your salon reopens for business. This time and care shows your customers how much you value them, their health, and your relationship.
When the time comes to reopen, send different forms of communication to let your customers know when you will do a soft open. If you will be operating under restrictions and have requirements, it is critical to make that information is available as possible. Use emails, texts, and social media outlets to supply the same uniform message. These new processes are as overwhelming for them as they are for you and your employees.
Offer Compassion To Your Supply Chain Relationships
When the economy undergoes a severe disruption, all industries become affected. Just like you, your suppliers are experiencing difficulties and will require your patience. Kindly reach out to these suppliers about delivery, seeing what options works best for their system and your business operations. Offer to communicate via phone or email, making yourself available and showing them you value your working relationship. Offering a mutual respect and understanding regarding the economy and the effects it has on them will encourage them to maintain that relationship with you once the economy returns to normal operations.
Although the economy has been disrupted and the return to normal operations may seem a good distance away, now is the time to take care of your relationships, both internally and externally. How you maintain those relationships and stay proactive will determine your success later.
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May 14, 2020