Hints & Tips Blog
Four C’s to help you lead
Aside from the direct health implications, it is perhaps the uncertainty around the duration and severity of the impact of Coronavirus that is one of the most serious issues we face – for individuals, our businesses and the broader economy.
No one can claim to have any definitive answers, and the health, personal and business concerns can be almost impossible to separate. However, there are some things those of us running businesses in these unprecedented times can do to steady the ship and provide much needed thoughtful and considered leadership.
Your employees will be worried; about themselves, their families and their jobs. Understanding these are legitimate concerns and checking on their individual and family circumstances and commitments will help them feel you care, and will engender loyalty that will be key in the coming weeks and months. As will creating solutions to enable those who can and want to work from home to do so. Given the uncertainty around how long significant changes to working patterns will be required, it’s important to get the balance right between looking after your employees and making sure core business operations and essentials are taken care of to protect the company, and their jobs for the future.
Many of us are worried we don’t know what to say or have any encouraging answers to give. However not saying anything is the worst thing we can do. Brief, regular updates on your company’s response and approach will provide assurance you are taking the necessary steps for them and the company, taking action now and thinking ahead. If a large proportion of your workforce moves to home working, regular team conference and video calls will provide a sense of cohesion, team spirit and help those not used to working alone to structure and prioritise their days and keep productive. It will also reduce the sense of isolation in which anxiety can thrive.
Being on top of your numbers is essential at any time, but is currently more important than ever. Modelling different budgets and cash flow scenarios based on any changes in revenue you think you might see can give you a helpful indication of if, and when, further action will need to be taken. As a minimum debtor day analysis and proactive management of overdue invoices should be prioritised, as well as any decisions about discretionary spend.
Your teams will be looking to you for leadership. They understand you won’t have all the answers, but they will expect you to communicate, lead and provide as much of a feeling of stability and calm as is possible in the maelstrom of incessant media and online reporting. Your tone and approach, as much as the actions you take, will have a calming or concerning effect. Many companies we have worked with over the last few days have discovered the level of absolute focus this situation has necessitated has in fact enabled them to identify new approaches that they feel will actually be useful to continue after the crisis is over. Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention – it follows therefore that there has never been a better time to be bold, creative, innovative and truly work together to create solutions and harness change.