It’s no secret that there are more questions than answers right now, an undeniably uncomfortable place to be in as a business leader. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer’s spring report, only 42% believe that CEOs are ‘preparing for the eventual recovery and figuring out how to return things to normal as quickly as possible.’ As more and more states take steps towards re-opening, it’s critical to start thinking through the different possibilities for your organization, and consider how to adequately prepare your frontline teams.
There are many different issues that leaders need to consider as they open up or expand services for locations or services that may have been temporarily closed for the past few months. Read on for four important areas of focus that you and your team should evaluate as you prepare to re-open in line with still-evolving guidelines and health considerations:
Set up flexible scheduling COVID-19 has created incredible changes in everyone’s lives; the circumstances for each of your employees may vary considerably, from being sick to themselves to needing to care for a sick relative, to having children in the home. Given this reality, being flexible with scheduling shifts will not only give much-needed autonomy to employees as they balance work and home life, but will also make it easier to adjust to your customers’ needs and behavior as the summer goes on. As industry expert Mark Wales said in his post “Labor Standards for the New Normal,” on the Workforce Institute, “almost no business model or task is now as it was before, and no forecast has a valid history to be based upon. Planning labor will need to adapt quickly to ensure the safety and health of the customers, the staff and the business.” For tips on how the frontline can use Crew to find shift coverage or pick up extra shifts, check out our latest Crew Tips blog post.
Prepare for all new procedures and policies Accurately following health and safety policies is more important than ever, particularly for your frontline workforce who are the face of your company to customers. From wearing proper protective equipment, like face masks and gloves, to fully contactless service, it’s vital to ensure that your frontline is adhering to new safety protocols. Make sure that your employees know exactly what is expected of them with detailed training videos that they can watch in their own time at home or living documents they can reference before coming in for a shift. Ensure that this content is always available for the frontline by establishing a centralized repository of information that can be easily accessed and regularly updated. Learn how Crew makes it easy for teams to store and share documents, videos, photos and more across teams and locations with Enterprise Files.
Establish channels for communication, both internal and external Communicating with your frontline should be efficient and reliable - but importantly, it needs to also be a two-way dialogue. Making sure that everyone is on the same page and has access to the people and information they need to do their best work can have a huge impact on the success of your business in a COVID-19 world. If you haven’t already established a channel for this, make it a priority and get everyone across the organization on board. Externally, communication is also incredibly important. Now is a great time to revisit your social media and open lines of communication with your customers if they have been quiet of late. Whether you’re sharing information about your menu, operating hours, instructions for contactless pickup, or the steps your team is taking to keep the community healthy, being forthcoming about operating changes can ease your customers’ worries and help them feel comfortable that there’s a safe way to re-engage with your business. For more best practices and an interactive worksheet to help you build a crisis communications plan that is both agile and resilient, check out our free eBook, Communicating at Crisis Speed.
Reinforce your values As crisis communications expert Michael Meath shared in his blog Q&A with us, “If you're a leader anywhere and you've got employees looking to you, the number one most important thing any manager needs to do is to first and foremost, just show basic care and concern at the most human level.” Reinforcing a culture of empathy and sensitivity acknowledges the concerns that both your customers and frontline workforce may have about resuming a semblance of normalcy, and will help your employees approach their interactions with customers and each other with awareness and sensitivity.
Consistent, reliable communication is key to navigating the many changes and new ways of operating. To learn more about how Crew is offering one-day deployment and waived fees for businesses directly affected by COVID-19, click here.