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Hand Sanitizer Won‘t Lead Your Team Through the Coronavirus

Whether you think the Coronavirus is a public health crisis or merely media hype, the growing economic slowdown is real. The CDC’s got you covered on the hygiene and health safety front, but only you can ensure business sustainability and organizational stability. As a leader, you know your team will be looking to you for direction as the Coronavirus situation rapidly evolves and changes.

Get ready for the intensity by thinking strategically about how to protect the health of your staff and economic sustainability of your business. And, as a business leader, decisions you make will have significant economic ripple effects from your employees to customers and the community at large.

To add to this pressure, being a calm and steady force is an imperative. How is this all possible? By creating certainty in uncertain times. Certainty comes from proactively, strategically planning for the unknown. Admittedly, this seems impossible, but the goal is to ensure business continuity. Below are five actions you can take in order of immediacy. A few of words of caution:


Certainty #1: Keep Staff Informed by Committing to Weekly Communication

When creating certainty, communication wins every time. Period. Demonstrating that you are taking a proactive, yet prudent approach will go a long way to calming any fears or concerns. Based on the actions suggested below, determine your course of action and use that as your first all-staff email. Publish something this week if you have not already!

While you may not have answers to everything (like travel policies), do communicate that such decisions will be forthcoming. Lastly, ask for suggestions from your team on any of the below. Calmly navigating through any situation is a team sport!

Certainty #2: Heighten the Level of Workplace Safety & Cleanliness

Because the workplace is a gathering place for your team and customers, think about taking measures to ramp up safety and hygiene. (Honestly, this is always a good idea.)

Since we at OnStrategy are business strategists, not public health officials, please refer to the specifics issued by the CDC. Here is a list of ideas:

Certainty #3: Update Your Travel, Work-from-Home and LOA Policies

Many organizations have issued travel bans and voluntary work-from-home policies. Determine what is right for your company based on geographic location, type of business and business needs. Let us remember that we need to be safe, but also support business continuity. Here are some actions to take:

Certainty #4: Secure Your Cash Flow

Many businesses are already feeling the economic impact on their revenue. Because a key unknown is how long the situation will last, securing cash flow and keeping employees productive is critical. Check out our Canvas to Create an Action plan to Protect the Health of Your Business and our tips on how to lead a team if you decide to work remotely. Here are a few other considerations:

Certainty #5: Extend Support to Your Staff, Customers & Community

This is the time when thinking about the community at-large has enormous impact. By taking situations on a case-by-case basis, you can support your staff, customers and community. Here are a few:

Final Thoughts

As the Coronavirus spreads worldwide, it seems increasingly that we’ll be dealing with the economic fallout, whatever that may be, for months to come. Unfortunately, it may be what defines 2020. However, it can also be a defining leadership moment because leading well through uncertain times illuminates good leadership.

Do you have other ideas or actions that work? Ideas to share about your actions?

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