Every business has a long term plan and is more or less prepared with the problems they might face in the future but nobody was prepared for this pandemic situation and no one ever thought that we would face something like this. We all are in vulnerable state and it had a harsh effect on each sector of the society. In this situation everyone is coming up with strategies to overcome the tragedy and the losses faced by each one of us. The pandemic has already negatively impacted the global economy. Companies have taken reactive steps to survive and overcome the losses such as establishing remote work culture, cutting costs, reducing employee workload etc. The pandemic has grabbed all the attention to itself, leaving companies with lack of opportunity therefore each one in the market has to think ways to capture the opportunity.
Companies have resilience plan for business continuity, crisis management and disaster recovery but as said earlier no one was prepared for this crisis therefore they have typically less incentive to invest in pandemic management. They must incorporate pandemic planning considerations into existing resilience management activities to supply a comprehensive response and to supply continuity for his or her most crucial products and services. Companies should also consider establishing pandemic-specific policies and procedures, capabilities for employee communications, telecommuting and personal/family leave to minimize disruptions. Let’s look at some strategies that companies should adopt in order to overcome the crisis:
- Communicate with your customers
One should always be transparent with their customers as they can be more empathetic towards the company facing crisis. Companies should continue to communicate with its public through multiple channels as customer interest should be their first priority and provide information to keep them updated. Customers may have various questions about the product and services that your company offers, so you should be prepared with each set of answers to satisfy their keenness. A clearly drafted frequently asked question should be disseminated through various channels so that each concerned customer should be aware of the changes if any made by the company.
- Establish crisis management program
In the event of a crisis, there are instances when companies got to deviate from standard policies and procedures to best meet the requirements of their customers and employees, however, these policy exceptions could also be necessary and permissible during an actual crisis. The companies should clearly communicate the reviewed policies and procedure in order to avoid any confusion later. The policies should be reviewed on the basis of risk management, compliance and legal prior and should be prepared for future risk if any.
- Establish a good communication strategy
Communication during any crisis is the most crucial step as it maintains the relation and trust of the customers and also boosts employee morale by retaining market stability. While companies have a communications strategy and designated points of contact to interact with internal and external stakeholders, often times the messaging is inconsistent and untimely. For companies that have both retail and corporate customers, consistent messaging is a key. Additionally, events sort of a pandemic can add another layer of complexity thanks to circulation of false news and narratives on social media. To provide cohesive and timely enterprise messaging, companies must establish a strong communications strategy that clearly lays out process and protocols to interact with a good set of stakeholders.
- Invest in technology to support remote work culture
A pandemic requires employees to remain home to limit exposure and to stop or hamper the spread of the disease, requiring the activation of remote working capabilities. Unlike an occasional weather event, which can prompt some employees to figure remotely, an epidemic may cause an entire shutdown of the whole facility in a neighbourhood, forcing a high number of employees to work remotely for an extended duration. This may successively end in heavier-than-normal traffic on remote connectivity networks, causing capacity and cargo access issues. The organisation should adopt tools that support remote work culture and collaborate virtually like having a strong bandwidth connection, periodic network testing and identifying substitute for tasks that are not possible from home. It is worth noting that while remote working may be a viable option for the service sector, it doesn’t work also for manufacturing, thus leading to critical impacts on product supply chains.
In these difficult times it’s important to face united and help each other in whatever way we can. Stay safe and stay healthy. Please remember that a number of the simplest initiatives are inbuilt trying times. Like all difficult situations, this too shall pass!