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How to Survive the Corporate Coronavirus Hit

Madeline Fink
September 10, 2020 | 11:17 AM

Coronavirus has uprooted all our lives in so many ways, whether that be personally, professionally, or a combinationBusinessman hand sending a bunch of messages on laptop with cloud computing concept of both. This challenging time has proven to be difficult for not only individual employees, but also companies of all sizes. Some of the biggest corporations in America, like popular clothing brands Nike and Zara, along with coffee chain Starbucks, have had to make changes in order to stay afloat like permanently closing hundreds of stores, reducing their output of products, and stopping assembly line production altogether. This is making everyone from employees to CEO’s wonder – How does a company survive a pandemic, a recession and come out of it successfully?

The last several months have certainly been full of challenges for the Briteskies team. We pride ourselves on getting sh!t done but nothing in our 20 year history totally prepared us for what the Coronavirus Pandemic would bring. We quickly adapted to how our work culture would change.

Faced with the unpredictability of a pandemic and the financial hardships which resulted, companies are experiencing a whole new level of challenges. While it can be difficult to plan how to navigate the unknowns, there are actions which can be taken during a crisis which will enable companies to not only survive, but ultimately thrive. It may not be easy, and company leaders must be willing to make some tough calls to survive.  Those which plan ahead of time will be more prepared and ready to act during troubling times. For Briteskies, adapting to a new remote work routine, staying productive, and figuring out how to support our customers and employees have been our top priorities.

Tips to Prepare Your Company for a Crisis Before It is Too Late 

  • Continuously review the state of your company. Having regular meetings with key team members to review priorities, opportunities, financials and employee morale enable leaders to pivot more quickly based on the changing scenarios.
  • Plan for the worst, hope for the best - The most important part of any preparedness plan is to be ready multiple situations. Be prepared to be very flexible and ready to adapt to any possible changes your company may face.
  • Responsible financial management is a huge key to success.
    • Figure out the best way to tackle and minimize company debt. To no surprise, companies that have high levels of debt even prior to a recession are more vulnerable to fail.
    • Controlling costs may require looking at salary structures for leadership and employees as an alternative to laying off employees.
    • Cash management is probably the most important tip of all. This is straight to the point and may seem obvious, but in case none of these other tips work for a company, you want to make sure you have some sort of financial security to fall back on.
  • Communicate/Stay connected when working remotely
    • Identifying a key member of the team to take on this task is critical when your company is focused on staying connected while being remote and working from home.

      Rosie Biggs, the Briteskies' Office Manager, was crucial in keeping the team connected when we shifted to a remote workforce. "I feel the best thing coming out of being a virtual team was using the ‘building remote culture’ way of connecting which helped all of us to get to know each other better as friends, not just as day to day co-workers.  To be virtually connected was never a challenge for me. I feel as if I have been training for it all my life!" Rosie explained.
     
    • Prioritizing company culture by doing activities like virtual company happy hours over video chat or making playlists of songs that all employees can contribute music to can help boost morale during a difficult time. 
    • Keeping an eye on morale is important, especially when working remote due to a pandemic. In addition to the weekly virtual meetings, we utilized weekly surveys to check in with employees on workload management, wellness concerns, process support etc.
      Leah Avner, who just started with Briteskies in February right before coronavirus changed all of our lives, quickly had to adapt from going into a brand new office to navigating how to work remotely. However, the pandemic may have helped Leah get to know her coworkers even better than just going into the office everyday. "We quickly implemented daily “social connecting” meetings where we talk about our work schedule and priorities, but also about our everyday lives. If anything, the pandemic has helped me form relationships with coworkers that may have been more difficult to form in office on a typical work day," Leah shared. 
  • Stay focused on selling 
    • While calls may go unanswered, emails unread and projects delayed persistence can pay off when things begin to improve.  By staying connected to customers and prospects during the downtime, when they are ready to move forward, you are ready to act.
    • During this time it is also important to review your online presence. We all know that having a strong online presence is important for any company in the 21st.
    • Don’t be afraid to rework the company’s digital platforms because improving social media and online platforms can set you up for success when things start to heat back up.

We are all aware that these are unprecedented times but there are still ways companies can come out of the recession that the coronavirus has sprung upon us stronger than before. With proper planning, businesses can come out stronger and even more successful in the long run. These times can be tough, but finding ways to manage budgets but also new ways to implement beneficial practices, will help keep a company afloat during unpredictable times and set them up for success in the future.

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