Surviving in the times of COVID-19

A brief guide for Leaders and HR to help them tackle the challenges in business continuity while remote working during COVID-19

1. The Pandemic and the workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on the normal day-to-day work routine of employees in all segments, owing to mandatory lock downs. Despite having well-defined crisis management processes, none stands the test of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment and, so far, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement,” tells Saikat Chatterjee, Senior Director at Gartner. “In a recent webinar snap poll, 91% of attending HR leaders (all in Asia/Pacific) indicated that they have implemented ‘work from home’ arrangements since the outbreak, but the biggest challenge stems from the lack of technology infrastructure and lack of comfort with new ways of working.”

With this guide, figure how to tackle challenges faced by organisations during a pandemic.

“The secret of crisis management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse.”

Andy Gilman of Comm Core Consulting Group

2. Six Challenges faced by companies during covid-19 crisis

6 Challenges Faced By Companies During COVID-19 Crisis

2. 1 Reducing Fixed Costs

Reducing Fixed Costs

Businesses that have closed premises due to lockdowns would still be facing fixed costs for their office and in-premise infrastructure. Controlling fixed costs have always been a business priority but during the current COVID-19 related survival, it could make or break your business survival.

Below given are  a few important tips that help you reduce fixed costs:

  • Analyse and make budgetary adjustments to company finances.
  • Analyse and cut down on unnecessary expenses; like maintaining digital copies of invoices instead of printing them
  • Analyse and make provision for the costs incurred during lockdown.
  • Implement cost-cutting strategies with complete transparency and on-going communication
Tip for Empuls Admins:
Use Empuls town hall to communicate and drive adoption of cost cutting measures. Run special rewarding programs for employees who initiate and implement cost saving strategies.

2.2 Working around the disruption of supply chain

Working around the disruption of supply chain

With inflated increase in demand for essential services and reduced demand for non-essential services, businesses are witnessing a sudden disruption in their supply chain. 

Below given are a few tips that can make you effectively work around the newly found supply chain disruption.

  • Analyse the current stock of raw materials and make a road map to use them efficiently
  • Innovate product lines and rethink go to market strategies
  • Make the supply chain transparent to get an exhaustive analysis of the current system
  • Create a plan of action ready to keep the company ready for the next disruption

Tips for Empuls Admins:

Create a ‘supply chain disruption’ group with members of a cross-departmental team - include sourcing, operations and manufacturing personnel. Ideate and discuss ways to build a more responsive supply chain.

2.3 Managing Customer Communication

 Managing Customer Communication

Organisations now need to rethink customer communication because the customer touchpoints have drastically reduced or transformed over the couple of past two months. Long gone are the times of frequent meetings, sales interactions or events and it might take considerable time to bring those back to normal. 

Below are a few tips to manage your customer communication during COVID-19.:

  • Create the list of customers and clients that are loyal and put extra focus in the services being provided to them
  • Reiterate and be true to your brand and values during a crisis
  • Communicate clearly and with empathy with your customers
  • Change the advertising plans during the pandemic so that the company is not seen as being exploitive 
Tips for Empuls Admins:
Create a ‘customer intelligence’ channel that has all customer facing teams as content contributors and the other teams as content viewers. Ask the contributors to update the channel with live feedback and issues from the customers

2.4 Sustaining Sales And Revenue Growth

Sustaining Sales And Revenue Growth

Probably the most prevalent of the challenges businesses face today, sustaining sales and revenues is the cornerstone of sustenance. Below given are a few useful tips to help sustain sales growth.:

  • Analyse your product portfolio to identify your current ‘star’ product and direct sales team to invest their efforts on selling these.
  • Move to online space for provide another channel for selling
  • Provide incentives and discounts to keep the non-durable inventory flowing
  • Provide sales incentives to sales team, distribution channels and vendors
Tips for Empuls Admins:
Create a sales incentive reward campaign for selling selected product ranges (decided based on holding costs and product performance)

2.5 Effectively Retaining Talent

 Effectively Retaining Talent

Not only should organisations retain valuable talent during these most challenging times but it is more important than ever for these efforts to be effective. Following are a few tips tips to effectively retain talent.:

  • Ensure employee engagement during work hours.
  • Ensure there is no case of over assignment of work. 
  • Giving all the employees clarity on the work priorities.
  • Delay or reduce incentives given to employees, do not eliminate it.
Tips for Empuls Admins:
Run engagement programs like contests over the townhall group and create spot awards to be given to winners.
Run a remote work well-being survey to understand the challenges faced by employees

2.6 Sustaining Cash Flows

Sustaining Cash Flows

Organisation who have account-base businesses might be assured of recurring revenue, but they all would be strapped for cash flows during the coming months. To help manage cash flows in order to continue running your business and paying your employees, given below are a few inputs.:

  • Analyse the important aspects of business and allocate enough resources for the their functioning
  • Shift to timely and accurate invoicing to keep a track of cash inflow
  • Keep cash reserve of the company a top priority and strategize for not just during lockdown but also post lockdown era

3. Making the best of time at hand

A few additional tips to survive COVID-19

  • Given below are 8  Ideas to make best use of times of coronavirus
  • Create policy to move to more paperless workflow
  • Create a more diversified supply chain arrangement
  • Switch to digital payments options for customers
  • Focus on the skills development of the employees
  • Prepare for a more digital friendly work environment post crisis
  • Analyse and improve communication 
  • Focus resources to the main operations of the company
  • Communicate and help distribution channels of the company 
8 Ideas to make best use of times of coronavirus

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