Congress recently passed legislation to help small businesses with cash flow through the crisis. These resources will help you determine if you business is eligible and what it means for you and your employees.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Commit to a consistent communication cadence to employees, including emails from leadership and live Q&A sessions. Create a chat channel specifically for communications to employees.
Be flexible. Understand that there may be a need for parents to adjust their schedules due to childcare. If possible, be flexible with hours and expectations. If need be, shift their responsibilities to other roles in the short-term. As a company, consider offering a stipend for childcare, or additional PTO while children are home.
Create a task force. Put together a team who can respond to new information quickly and meet with them often. The team would be responsible for updating internal and external communications and taking any action that is warranted.
Stay calm. As a leader, employees are looking to you to set an example. Use your words and demeanor to send a message that everything will be okay. Use neutral language that doesn’t cause fear, such as “abundance of caution”, “thoughtful”, “precautionary” and “proactive”.
One-on-ones. Schedule regular virtual one-on-one meetings with each employee, potentially on a more frequent cadence than usual. Provide support, reassurance and ask your employees how you can set them up for success.
Team check-ins. Hold daily or weekly status check-ins with your team for shared accountability. This can also give a sense of certainty and progress.
Turn video on. Normalize a cameras-on practice for video calls. Needing to work remotely can lead to feelings of isolation, and being able to see team members, even just virtually, can be a positive step toward creating a sense of connection.
Know the IT support number. Make sure that you know how to contact IT for support if needed, and relay this information to your team.
Set clear expectations. Clarify necessary outcomes for your team members (e.g., goals, “definitions of done”) so focus is on what needs to get done rather than how many hours someone works.
Disaster Loans are available to some small businesses in need through the Small Business Association. See if you qualify.
While helping with social distancing, there are unexpected cyber-security risks with allowing employees to work remotely. Business Insurance has a list of tips to help business owners combat cyber-attacks.
COVID-19 doesn’t just impact how healthcare workers stay safe on the job. There are guidelines for every workplace. There is a fact sheet straight from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
Emily is the Senior Marketing Automation Manager at Viewpoint. She has worked in technology since 2006 and loves the intersection with construction. Her professional interests include women in construction, digital marketing and data analytics.