Business Resilience in the Age of Coronavirus
Business resilience is a firm’s ability to recover from tough circumstances. It is also known as continuity planning. Your enterprise may battle to stay afloat when things don’t go according to plan. That situation changes if you have business resilience. You will have the chance to adjust to whatever life throws at your company if your business is resilient. Here are 20 ways to make your business more resilient:
1. Carry Out a Business Impact Analysis
A business impact analysis is self-explanatory. It outlines how a disruptive event affects standard business procedures. It’s possible to do such an investigation in-house with knowledge of best practices and a bit of planning. Some firms may prefer to hire external advisors to conduct their impact analyses.
2. Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Life may return to normal, or it may achieve a “new normal.” Your firm’s survival will be a product of proper business continuity planning. Set up business continuity and incident response teams. Have these teams follow guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and their local governments. They must put measures in place to protect the organization and its employees.
3. Make Sure Your Organization Follows the Tenets of Resilience
Your organization must be adaptable. It must be able to change direction as the COVID-19 situation evolves. It must be responsive and able to identify risk. It must also be proactive – able to predict, detect, and respond to possible disruptions. Your company has to be interdependent and integrated. Staff should be trained and prepared. There must also be a shared vision and a unity of purpose throughout the organization. Through it all, your company has to be collaborative, communicative, and cooperative.
4. Do Business Tracking and Forecasting
It’s possible that the crisis will generate random instabilities. Put rapid reporting cycles in place. It will help you to understand the effects of COVID-19 on your business. It also shows what mitigation measures you need. You will be able to see how fast operations are recovering.
5. Identify Uncertainties
You can carry out this step by brainstorming, or by doing a SWOT analysis. This step calls for a diverse set of participants. They should have different backgrounds and interests. Such a group will be able to outline the risks and uncertainties facing the company.
6. Act Fast, but have a Plan
Places like Taiwan and Mongolia were quick to react to the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve been through this situation before. Contact tracing and rigorous testing commenced right away. Early on, they made it mandatory to wear masks. In the same way, ensure that your company has a policy for the current crisis, which you can adapt as needed.
7. Put Staff First
Staff may be anxious about the risks, or they may fall ill. They may fail to show up for work due to safety concerns or caring for sick family members. Or, they might not have access to transportation. It’s essential to support your staff throughout the pandemic. You also need to plan for absences, particularly those in critical roles.
8. Review and Revise Remote Working Policies
It is an appropriate time to improve remote working policies. You may have to use new performance appraisal methods. For example, you may have to assess staff based on output rather than time spent doing a task. The time of day that they work on or complete a task may become irrelevant. Your HR department will need to support managers in checking in with teams. They also need to ensure that staff follows best practices while doing remote work.
9. Communication with Staff is Key
It’s essential that HR steps up its communication response. Employees need to know about changes to working hours and company policy revisions. To make it work, the HR department will need to work with the CEO. They need to decide how the company’s communications will look. They must align with the context of employment law and best practice. The effect of proposed changes can result in loss of employment, so firms need to be sensitive.
10. Go the Extra Mile for Staff
Look at priority staff concerns. For example, closed schools and daycare centers mean your staff may need childcare. If you can ease these concerns, it will enhance morale and engagement levels. It improves team spirit, leading to better business outcomes.
11. Your Company’s Internal and Client Communication must be Transparent
It’s essential to keep all stakeholders apprised of staffing status. You also need to inform them of business continuity measures and contingency planning.
12. Make Full Use of Technology
We have countless tools available to reduce the challenges facing our companies. These tools came about because of the developments in technology over the last 20 years. The current crisis will expand the use of teleconferencing and smart working solutions. Video calls will replace many face-to-face meetings, which will lessen the environmental footprint due to less travel.
13. Store Your Data on the Cloud
Having all your data accessible via a web browser makes it easier to enable home-working. By moving all data to the cloud, you can build an office that can become fully remote.
14. Set up a Platform for Electronic Sharing of Documents
Implementing a client portal means you don’t have to mail documents to clients. It also means you can improve customer service by giving clients access to their files 24/7. It reduces the time spent in the office since employees can now access documents from home.
15. Create a Customer-Oriented Plan
Be proactive and create a sustainable customer-oriented plan. Bring together skilled, distributed teams that can log in anytime, anywhere. Such units should be able to deliver on customer commitments.
16. Go the Extra Mile for the Customer
Pay attention to the actions and tone that you take with customers. Your treatment of them must reflect the nature of the relationship that you have with them. Your most loyal and largest customers will merit personal, one-on-one outreach. Do not default to mass surveys or emails to high net-worth customers.
17. Reconsider Your Brand Value
These are good times to reexamine the defined value of your brand. Ask questions such as Do we have a clear picture of who we are as a brand and who we want to be in the future? Is it relevant to our stakeholders? Are our customers concerned about the quality of our product?
18. Ensure the Survival of the Company
You’ll need to make agonizing choices. For example, you may need to cut jobs if a zero layoff policy isn’t possible, and your burn rate is high. Your primary responsibility is to save the company and some jobs. It’s better than losing the entire organization and all jobs.
19. Make Use of Government Support Policies
Companies should check for government-sponsored opportunities for support. Such support may vary based on sector and jurisdiction. Decide how they can best serve the individual circumstances of your situation.
20. Take Action and Learn
All these exercises are useless if leaders do not act upon the insights. They also need to follow the recommendations. Like any strategic move, timing is essential. Organizations need to give priority to strategic rather than tactical actions and movements. The coronavirus outbreak exposed glaring flaws in many business models. Now is the time to work on those flaws. Design your business to operate even in unstable economic conditions.