Lead the way

Coming out stronger during a time of crisis

The coronavirus outbreak has touched every aspect of society — personal, business, health care, government and social services — and has caused shifts in how we relate to and work with each other.

As the world works through the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, many business owners find themselves in uncharted territory. Now is the time to find effective, creative ways to boost team morale and rally your troops. This pandemic has proven how critical it is to be prepared for any situation that could affect your company’s stability.

As Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” Successful business leaders understand that their business depends on a strong, hard-working group of employees who want to see the business succeed. Right now, your team may be feeling rattled and insecure about recent events. Many of us are.

Now is the ideal time for your team to strategize methods to come through a crisis and emerge more solid than before.

Clear communication is essential

According to Gallup, highly engaged teams show a 21 percent greater profitability in reaching business goals. During a crisis, communication becomes even more vital to ensuring your company’s future, so:

  • Call your valued employees and let them know that you have confidence in them and the organization’s power to overcome challenging situations.
  • Update employees regarding any changes in company policy.
  • Review current strategy and objectives with employees and focus on how they can realistically achieve those goals.

Update your business strategy

All eyes will be on you as the business determines ways to thrive while dealing with unplanned fluctuations. Make sure all team members understand that the business must still focus on providing top-notch products and services.

Reanalyze previous budgets and goals, and remember that throughout history, businesses have found effective, creative ways to bounce back through times of crisis.

  • Studies have shown that during economic downturns, the “noise level” in your industry can drop because competitors spend less on marketing. Think of ways your brand can use this time to keep your company name in front of your industry.
  • Amazon sales grew by 28 percent in 2009 during the Great Recession. The company developed new, innovative products, such as the Kindle, which helped grow its market share.
  • In the 1990-91 recession, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell took advantage of McDonald’s’ decision to drop its promotion budget. The result? Pizza Hut and Taco Bell increased sales by 61 percent and 40 percent, respectively, while McDonald’s sales declined by 28 percent.

Use this experience as a learning tool

As you continue to rebuild from the pandemic, analyze which techniques have worked well for your business and what could have been better. Make sure that your team has a crisis plan in place so that it can pivot and do what is best for the business.

Kelly Borth is CEO and chief strategy officer of GREENCREST