Corona Chronicles: Why a Virus Need Not Disrupt Your Business
Companies globally are reacting to COVID-19 in a variety of ways, from requesting that employees work from home, restricting travel, and even canceling business events and participation in fairs. Organizations are also experiencing several rapid response challenges both from an employee health and welfare standpoint as well as due to disrupted supply chains. All considering this could have a huge impact on the well being of the company and on the economy at large.
It is therefore essential not to let panic get the better of us, but to ensure business continuity plans are in place, to minimize financial losses and protect the workforce.
Pandemic checklist to help you minimize risk:
Identify key personnel
- Appoint someone to coordinate activities and communication strategies during the pandemic.
- Develop an employee communication plan that outlines how the company will respond to scenarios of closure and possible infection at the workplace.
- Determine the minimum staffing requirements for key business functions, in case you need to operate with a reduced workforce due to illness.
- Identify the top players and ensure other staff members have received appropriate training to cover for them.
Be remote ready
- Review the technology, including bandwidth, security and connectivity, needed to support employees working from home.
- ‘Conduct staff training on the use of remote tools such as video conferencing.
- Review and prepare a work-transfer strategy for functions and processes that can be transferred.
- Start practicing now. Test out your remote working.
Keep Employees Well Informed
- Ensure all employees are aware of what to do, so as to avoid hysteria and panic.
- Inform them of who to contact, when and how, for every possible scenario.
- Review company HR policies and advise employees of their rights in case of quarantine and forced time off.
- Review current health insurance with brokers to determine what may or may not be covered in case of a pandemic.
Communicate with Partners
- Reach out to your supply chain (critical vendors and suppliers) to understand where they are at.
- Identify your operational and revenue impacts.
- Consider alternative suppliers before the need arises.
Using the right tools to communicate
- Effectively responding to and pre-empting disruption, depends on careful pre-planning as we have outlined above, but also on the use of communication tools that can rise to the occasion.
- Choose a video conferencing solution that can easily allow you to communicate with a large number of persons without you having to fork out huge amounts on per-user or monthly licensing.
- Ensure the sound quality and video capabilities are up to scratch. There’s nothing worse than sound quality interferences when trying to communicate with a large audience. Good video quality will also help employees feel they are still part of a unit, even if not in the same room.
- Make it easy for employees to share their ideas and their work. Choose a solution that includes screen sharing capabilities for troubleshooting, as well as the ability to upload PDFs and share documents with the group.