Coronavirus impacts everyone
What measures should your businesses consider in the light of this viral outbreak?
Employees will likely be exposed to conflicting information and feel anxious or confused about the best course of action. Keep in regular contact with your team and communicate policies promptly, clearly, and in a balanced manner. Providing information on the reasoning behind company policies will ensure employees can take initiative in unanticipated situations, such as employee holidays in a restricted location or how to handle breaks in a supply chain.
Travel restrictions and service distribution will impact employees' access to education, health care and daily provisions. Consider creating an information hub where employees can find all the information they need. Many of these needs will be locally specific, requiring a multi-tiered approach to policymaking.
Make sure that travel policies are clear in terms of where employees can and can't travel to, as well as the reasoning behind these restrictions. Provide information on what authorizations are required and when the policy will be reviewed.
Remote working and self-isolation:
Be clear on your company policies and any temporary changes to them. Provide your team with information on where they apply, how they will work, and when they will be reviewed. The rules around statutory sick pay and self-isolation have been updated as a result of the CoronaVirus Outbreak including statutory sick pay from day 1 instead of day 4. Find out more information here; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/sick-pay-from-day-one-for-those-affected-by-coronavirus
Attempt to stabilise supply chains by using safety stocks, alternative sources, and working with suppliers to solve bottlenecks. Co-develop a flexible interim solution with suppliers where rapid changes are not possible and communicate plans to all relevant stakeholders.
Business tracking and forecasting:
It’s likely that the crisis will create unpredictable and potentially long-lasting fluctuations. Put in place rapid-reporting cycles so that you can understand how your business is being affected, where mitigation is required, and how quickly operations are recovering. A crisis doesn’t imply immunity from performance management, and sooner or later markets will judge which companies managed the challenge most effectively.
Corporate responsibility and how your business can be part of the solution:
As a corporate citizen, you should support others in your supply chain, industry, community, and local government. Consider how your business can contribute, be it in health care, communications, food, or some other domain. Focus on the intersection between acute social needs and your specific capabilities. The CoronaVirus won’t last forever. We all have a responsibility to support the business around us to ensure a stable financial outcome for all.
Adapted from an original article by Martin Reeves for the Harvard Business Review. Read the full article here; https://hbr.org/2020/02/lead-your-business-through-the-coronavirus-crisis