Running a business is always tricky. Constantly providing quality products and/services at affordable prices, finding new and keeping old customers, trying to be one step ahead of your competitors, and predicting what the future will bring is already rather challenging. Now, on top of all that, business owners and managers need to deal with the pandemic, which impacts both the private and professional lives of everyone in the world. To help you understand what’s at stake and how to overcome some challenges, we’ve prepared the following list of tips.
Regardless of how much you rely on and invest in technology, your company will only be as good as the people working in it. So, if you’ve selected the right people, your task is now to do whatever you can to keep them satisfied and productive during the crisis. If you’re still short of people, make sure your recruitment is spot on, because that’s the only way to keep your company growing. If, unfortunately, you need to make some people redundant, it’s vital to make the right calls and treat those colleagues fairly because they will now have to face the uncertainty of finding a new job. If you manage to communicate the message that you are not dissatisfied with their work but that the situation is beyond your control, they will be less likely to bear a grudge and possibly sue the company. Finally, they won’t be spreading a negative word-of-mouth campaign, which could seriously damage your company’s reputation and affect future recruitment.
Incentives and security
It is difficult to offer financial incentives when most companies are struggling to survive in these difficult times. However, rewarding your employees should be a practice that never stops. If possible, have a chat with them and show interest in how they’re coping with all the newly arisen issues and ask if they have some ideas related to streamlining your business operations. Some might cherish a bit more time at home, and you should let them work from there if that doesn’t affect the work process. Next, you should be aware that many people feel apprehensive about the whole situation and know what they can expect from their employer. In Australia, for example, leading Australian employment lawyers are redrafting employment contracts to make them relevant and applicable to the current situation. The provisions in such contracts should be realistic, relevant and your company needs to fulfill all obligations stemming from them. By officially acknowledging the present state, both you and your employees share the burden, and your relationship is likely to grow stronger, which is vital for the company’s culture.
Continuous professional development
Some may think this is not the best time to plan professional development and focus on something else. While such claims are understandable, they are wide of the mark. People still want to learn and progress, so you need to use it to your benefit. Not only will a more skilled employee feel better, but they will also raise the quality of products or services you offer, which means your company will improve both its reputation and culture. It will be seen as a place where one can truly fulfill their potential, and before long, great word-of-mouth will start doing rounds, which means you’ll be able to attract even better candidates for the job. Furthermore, most professional development opportunities have now been moved to online platforms, which means the cost is much lower since you don’t have to send people far away and pay for their accommodation and meals, on top of the tuition fee. Last but not least, the pandemic won’t last forever, and the readier you are for the post-pandemic world, the better off you’ll be.
The importance of having strong teams working towards common goals is now greater than ever. These are the moments in which people show how reliable and dependable they are and whether they understand that they can’t work alone. Such interdependency is more apparent in situations when companies are forced to change their MOs. However, a company can’t rely on the past alone when it comes to motivation. Even when colleagues no longer see each other so regularly, when physical and social contacts are restricted, there should be channels of communication available, which would allow people to keep in touch and spend time together outside working hours. It could be anything from online gaming to sharing videos and pics of people spending time during the pandemic. The important thing is to let everyone know you are all there for each other.
Maintaining and improving a company’s culture during the pandemic is a complex task, yet not impossible. A lot of mutual trust, respect, and understanding is involved in it and its business owners’ and managers’ task to ensure the company’s overall atmosphere is improving and that its reputation is developing in the right way.