Few managers and business owners can truly say that they were ready for the changes that Novel Coronavirus, more accurately called Covid-19, would bring to their operations. Almost overnight, companies have been forced to start operations focused on ‘social distancing,’ Social distancing involves sacrificing many of the activities that once were crucial to business, like sharing coffee, meals, or time on the golf course, as well as more mundane tasks like meetings and interviews.
All of this stress is multiplied for those who are in charge of making sure that business continues as usual; after all, few of us want our employees idle right now, and even fewer would prefer to see wages cut or layoffs commence. However, there are a few techniques that can help make sure that not only your employees stay productive, but that they also are secure in that their livelihoods are secure, with plenty of new leads coming in for your business.
Because of this, communication is absolutely key. Typically, a manager may only have a meeting a few times a week. However, during this time, touching base every day may be a solution to provide some sense of continuity while also providing structure to your employees’ days. We have read of some engaged companies doing a quick check-in conference call early in the day, as well as one later. That provides a sense of accountability for all involved, while also helping to remind everyone that there is still work to be done.
If possible, remain upbeat, but honest, during this time. Your employees will have difficult answers; “I don’t know” is only an acceptable solution if followed by, “But I will try to find out.” As much as possible, help people to focus on their jobs, not if their paychecks will be threatened.
Unfortunately, there are indications that this may well be the new normal for at least the next six months, if not considerably longer. Your employees will have to take time to help their kids, or spouses, or parents, and no matter what the reason, a good manager will give them all the time that they need. Remember, recruitment during coronavirus would be a nightmare.
Also, bear in mind that the average American office worker does only around 3 hours of work a given day, with the rest of it taken up by meetings, office events, and socializing with colleagues. As long as that standard is being met, then you really don’t have much to worry about.
Finally, businesses should start planning for the worst. There could well be a slowdown that even best efforts could not forestall. In that case, start talking to banks and lenders now about loans, lines of credit, and other ways to make sure that your employees are taken care of during the crisis. With the government offering tax credits to managers who pay their employees during any shut down, there is a way to get this back, and banks know this. However, your employees may not have access to the types of credit that you do.
Doing this, while a scary thought, is the ultimate backstop, and demonstrates a great deal of loyalty to your employees. Remember, employees don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers; doing this can help prevent anyone from jumping ship during later crises.
As a manager or owner, the simple best thing that you can do to help your employees during a time like this is to make sure that there are plenty of inbound leads to keep everyone busy. Doing so not only removes a number of the burning questions about job stability, but it also helps to create a sense of normalcy that many of your employees will be lacking. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of time to do so.
”Attending” Events Online
Chances are that before you were a timid participant in webinars and other events online, but now is the time to become engaged. Many companies and groups are hosting these events, and it is a great way to meet people. Chances are that even your college alumni group is offering such opportunities. Take advantage of them and find a way to help other businesses out.Social Media Presence
With all those new pieces of content and new contacts from events online, now is a great time to grow your social media presence. Use tools like IFTTT to optimize posts across platforms, so that something posted on Instagram appears on Twitter and Facebook. Like and comment on other people’s content as well; after all, when you’re looking to make an introduction, being able to be a name that they have seen before will be helpful.
All of this can be quite time-consuming, but is a crucial way to build your business. If you’re worried about reaching out to people on LinkedIn taking up too much time, look into Kennected. We offer a variety of ways to help companies best leverage LinkedIn in order to help them build the sort of relationships that produce leads. By taking into account your needs in clients and the services you offer, we help you best scale your LinkedIn efforts in order to reach as many people as possible.
In short, just like a good manager, we remove the burden so that you can focus on doing what you do best; helping your employees succeed.
If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today – Kennected stands ready to help your small business guarantee a supply of leads through the Covid-19 Pandemic and beyond.