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If there’s one lesson companies can take away from times of emergency, it’s the importance of preparation.  The current crisis has caused a global shutdown that directly affects all facets of business. Future proofing your business now acts as a crisis management strategy for other possible emergencies. The global unpreparedness for this current pandemic has not only made navigating the turmoil, but further exacerbates its disorder. This major universal health concern also jeopardizes the global economic climate on micro and macro levels, and the best way to prevent similar situations in the future is to plan for it.

When it comes to your business, there are many external variables that are out of control that have a direct effect on operations. Because of this, it’s imperative to operate as much control over the internal variables you can influence to work best for your business during crises. Your approach to business-continuity should consider both the profitability of production and welfare of employees as they symbiotically impact productivity. Being resourceful, reactive, and open-minded are key characteristics to adopt when redefining and reimagine operations during a crisis. We’ve put together some behavioural and operational tips to help guide your business through any type of fluctuation:

Create A Plan As Soon As Possible

In times of crisis, the immediate response is panic. As a collective, containing panic as much and as quickly as possible happens when you accept the reality for what it is and to apply any existing information. Emplacing a new hygiene protocol is absolutely necessary and working remotely is a non-negotiable (if your company sees fit). Shutting down or decreasing operations may seem as an extreme and difficult decision, but it was the first step in flattening the curve.

Instead of focusing on the unknown, use the facts and accommodate them in productive ways. This creates a feasible starting-point for employees to work off of, creates a sense of action, and builds a stable platform for your next steps. Locate the needs of the situation and organize reactive procedures according to it. As this coronavirus is bigger than all of us, it was vital for initial efforts to focus on containing it.

Emphasize Company Culture

HR needs to communicate a sense of company culture throughout your business now more than ever. With instability as the collective feeling, operating through the familiar language of your company culture will provide a constant, help employees feel secure, know what to expect, and have a group goal to work towards. Feeling connected during a time of mass disconnect will boost morale, work ethic, and ease the post-pandemic back-to-work transition. To understand the importance of company culture as a prevention strategy, read here.

Fear and confusion are powerful emotions that are heightened during emergencies, and creating a plan that can confront and comfort these feelings will redirect energy towards more constructive efforts. Crisis requires creativity, innovation, and a clear focus on critical thinking, which can be promoted through your company culture campaign. Keeping the conversation about constructive group work and discussing the disparities that can arise provides potential answers and keeps your company on the same page.  Allowing all levels of your company to collaborate will increase problem-solving strategies and strengthen the execution of change management plans.

Relocate Online

Shutting down or decreasing operations may seem like the only option, but working remotely will ensure business-continuity during a crisis. Utilizing technology resources, allowing employees to proceed with projects, and editing what work should look like to fit this temporary transition will maintain productions. Employing the various software and technology that allow digital teamwork and information organization will create a new normal quickly. Now employees can work together, communicate with clients, and provide for your consumer while things stay on pause.

Digital marketing is also a strategy that should be welcomed. Keep the customer engaged and exist in their precipice by moving communications online. Engaging your customer base by offering relief, advice, and altered services that accommodate the current conditions is a needed form of customer outreach. Pivoting your marketing campaign to fit the online atmosphere will widen your presence and relevance and can take form in a multitude of methods. Read more about this here.

What Should You Do?

  • Understand the issue on a micro and macro level to best navigate solutions.
  • Communicate with employees to understand any pain points and reduce stress.
  • Use any discrepancies as a resource for planning future emergency tactics.
  • Adopt digital resources and lean into the virtual market.

Darwyne Lang

Darwyne is the president and CEO of Apri Insurance Services Inc. Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, he lives the benefits business every day. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). He understand the needs, costs, misconceptions, and effects on brand and culture, and the importance of benefits for employees. No matter what he’s doing, whether for work or pleasure, Darwyne competes at a very high level. He loves to lead and innovate in everything he does.

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