How Should Your Organization Respond to the Coronavirus Epidemic?

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Responding to the Coronavirus outbreak

How Should Your Organization Respond to the Coronavirus Epidemic?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, old norms are being tossed aside and we’re navigating uncharted territory. So how should businesses and organizations respond to the current state of this changing world?

Though very little is certain amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, here are some tips on working your way through this pandemic.

Don’t be afraid of change

It’s not always easy to think of change as a good thing, especially when you’ve grown comfortable with things as they are. However, change is often the catalyst for enormous growth. There are several reasons that any business or organization should embrace change, and we’ve talked about some of those in the past.

Change creates both conflict and opportunity. Some people focus exclusively on the conflict, and in doing so they miss the opportunity behind it. Keep your eyes fixed on what you can do to have a positive impact through all of this and you’ll begin to see those opportunities emerge.

Don’t stop hiring

While it might be tempting to freeze your hiring during the Coronavirus quarantine, we advise you to keep looking for new talent. There are several reasons for this, and we’ve created a pretty lengthy article that explains why. The general summary, however, is that the hiring process is essential to your long-term viability, and you need to keep your options open.

Comply with lockdown ordinances

A lot of cities and states have been issuing lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of Coronavirus. It vital that you comply with these orders. They are being put in place to reduce the impact of a pandemic that is enormous in scope, and we should all do our part in keeping our communities safe.

By refusing to comply, you are only creating problems for yourself and others. Not only could you put people at risk of exposure, but you’re also inviting a potential PR disaster. Don’t give anyone the opportunity to brand you as a villain. More importantly, be sure to protect your community during these trying times.

Use technology to your advantage

While we might value face-to-face interactions and having a physical space to work out of, technology allows us to avoid these in many cases. There’s a good chance that the work you do can be done remotely. There are several great apps that allow teleconferencing, such as Skype, WebEx, and Zoom (just to name a few). For retailers, consider delivery options and emphasize the web portion of your business. Be creative and leverage modern technology to your advantage.

Keep your guests safe

While many industries can shift to a remote model seamlessly, there are other industries in which this just isn’t feasible. Take healthcare, for example. Remote diagnosing is possible in very limited cases, but a lot of healthcare work still requires in-person contact. If this is the case for you, make sure you are operating safely.

The US Chamber of Commerce has a great resource for workplace safety during the Coronavirus outbreak, but we want to reiterate some of their points because they’re important to keep in mind.

Hygiene is especially important right now, so make sure employees are washing their hands as often as possible. Provide gloves and masks to prevent surface contact, and disinfectant wipes to clean up after any instances in which contact can’t be avoided. Enforce policies that discourage people from touching their faces. Allow clients and customers to interact with your staff from six feet away or more if possible. Talk to your staff about how to have conversations about these policies without sounding rude or confrontational.

If your doors are staying open during the Coronavirus outbreak, you must be mindful about maintaining a safe environment. The safety of your guests is your responsibility.

Keep your employees safe

The previous point is not limited to just the people you do business with. Your employees must be safe as well. As we mentioned earlier, creating remote opportunities when possible is a great way to ensure you’re not forcing your staff to be exposed to the virus. Offering more flexible hours, even if this is a temporary measure, is another good way to keep your employees safe. Reducing your operating hours might be a necessity here as well.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 spreads rapidly, so if your employees are exposed to it, your customers or clients are too. We know you appreciate the people who keep you operational, and this is your chance to show them how much you care.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

While it’s easy to announce a policy about sanitization, for example, it’s much harder to enforce it, especially if you haven’t figured out all of the details about how you’ll handle it. If you announce that your employees will be handing out hand sanitizer, you must make sure hand sanitizer is indeed being provided.

If you tell people one thing and they witness you doing the opposite, you’ve damaged that person’s trust and they may never give you the opportunity to rectify that. Be prepared to make sweeping change before you make sweeping statements.

Above all, show compassion in everything you do

The reality is that these times are hard for everyone. Don’t focus on your own hardships while ignoring the hardships of others. This world needs compassion in large doses right now, so you should offer it whenever possible.

A little compassion goes a long way. When you provide a product or service that people need, it’s imperative that you have a caring attitude. Make sure your guests feel cared for and not taken advantage of.

We’re all in this together. Let’s take care of each other and make sure we’re creating a future that benefits everyone.