As the government debate stronger ‘lockdown’ measures and MPs debate emergency laws designed to combat Covid-19, we consider one of the most complex crises to face us in generations and how to prepare positively for what is yet to come.
You should not be expecting the UK to buck the trend and contain the virus, but instead focus on making sure that you are prepared for what is yet to come.
Implement safeguards to protect your company and prepare business continuity planning.
A continuity plan should outline what steps you plan on taking if an outbreak impacts your business and what measures you’re taking to protect your employees and business.
You should consider:
Changes to current work practices
We have seen massive email open and click-through spikes in our clients’ news alerts, with web site traffic doubling and more new business enquires
Protect your employees
If at all possible, consider establishing a work from home policy, including employee eligibility, remote procedures, and guidelines.
You may not be able to give all employees the option of working from home, or you may need to maintain a physical presence.
Outline HR policies and working practices that all safeguard personnel and customers.
At times of crisis internal and external communications are critical.
You must share updates, information and plans with your management, employees and customers to keep them up-to-date.
Shippers often rely on vendors for market news and value the updates they receive.
We have seen massive email open and click-through spikes in our clients’ news alerts, with web site traffic doubling and more new business enquires.
Your customers and stakeholders will remember those who stepped in when others wouldn’t
Be agile and responsive
Don’t waste too much time risk-mapping unknown risks and focus on organisational resilience, including measures to protect capacity in core services.
Consider what your partners can do and ensuring external support can be drawn on if necessary.
Empower your team to make decisions will help create an agile and responsive business that can react quickly, when it’s most needed.
Your front-line team has the clearest sight of the challenges facing your customers and some problems will be easy to put right.
The quick thinking, problem solving and resolving actions of empowered staff will provide the right response and reassurance that customers need in times like these.
Be ready for good news
News channels – and customer updates – are going to be dominated by negative stories as the virus escalates, and impacts businesses.
Be a source for reliable – and hopeful – news of how Coronavirus is impacting supply chains and how you are supporting, and preparing, customers to weather its impacts.
If you are able to support the national or local coronavirus response, or play any small part in providing local support, don’t be shy to do so, or talk about it.
Positive action is always welcome and inspiring and when the virus has passed and lives returned to normal, your customers and stakeholders will remember those who stepped in when others wouldn’t.