Being There For Employees And Customers During Covid-19
What is happening? Where are we going? When will this end? How much worse can it get?
These are all questions I am asking myself every day. I am also continuously being asked these questions by others. These are challenging and uncertain times, to say the least. Until a few weeks ago, most business owners were riding one of the best economic waves in history. Then an unknown virus that has come to be known as Covid-19 comes along and derails everything. In just a few days the economy began to grind to a halt while anxiety and panic left the general public with their mouths wide open. There are orders to "stay at home" and "shelter in place" throughout the country. The government is scrambling to respond and contain the virus. What should business owners do in a time like this? View this crisis as an opportunity.
Your employees and your customers need to hear something calming and reassuring from you. I can't keep track of how many times I have heard business owners say, "I cannot find any good people." Recognize that at this moment in time, you cannot afford to lose the people and talent you have. I understand that everyone must do what they have to do in order to get through this. But make sure your employees and managers feel like important parts of your current and future business family, feel as though you are behind them through this, and communicate to them an understanding that you are creating a plan (whether or not you are internally panicking) to get the business and their jobs through this. By building this kind of openness and connectivity with your employees, you have the opportunity to bind them to you for good.
Then there's your customers. What can you do for them in a time of crisis like this? Be a source of help and assistance for them in any way you can. Turn your locations into outreach centers. Call your customers, take orders, deliver goods to them. Do whatever you can. Reaching out to your customers and simply saying, "How can I help?" will help endear them to you in ways you can only imagine. Why would they even consider shopping somewhere else when you were there to simply ask them if they needed anything in a crisis moment?
Together we will all get through this. Let's do what we can to help out wherever we can.
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