“Nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business.”- Yelp.com’s Local Economic Impact Report
There are times when some things are simply out of your control.
We’ve heard of business closures due to low sales, poor product/service quality, inability to generate profits, failing to comply with laws, and so on.
However, if somebody had told me a couple of years ago that business could potentially face a shutdown to control the spread of an infection, I would have dismissed it as a joke.
However, life has its own way of stopping us in our tracks when we choose to close our eyes and walk through the world like everything’s just fine.
Covid-19 came into our lives much like a hurricane sweeping through geographical boundaries. While taking away millions of lives all that it has left behind are endless tales of suffering.
Businesses of every size and scale got a gut punch as the state asked its citizens to stay indoors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As the CEO and Founder of ProofHub, I was quite anxious when businesses were told to ask their employees to work from home. At the same time, I was thankful that the nature of the IT industry is adept enough to allow employees to work remotely.
Still, there were concerns because neither the senior management of ProofHub nor the workforce got time to mentally prepare for such an abrupt, unprecedented change in operations.
We had little time to introspect; we needed to act fast. As an inspiring leader, you cannot afford to appear anxious and undecided to the people who look up to you for finding the right solutions.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
That said, I am fortunate to have a hardworking and versatile team that stands with the organization through thick and thin. The situation was tough but every ProofHub employee was ready to take on the challenge head-on.
So, off I went to the drawing board to create a strategy to make sure that ProofHub does not lose track during the lockdown and continues to offer quality services to our esteemed clients throughout.
“Bring your entire team together in a centralized location to improve collaboration manifold. Trust ProofHub and Sign up TODAY!”
We executed this strategy and the results exceeded our expectations.
So what exactly was the strategy that proved worth its weight in gold for ProofHub?
Read on to know more about it.
1. Called Up A Virtual Team Meet
Once it was clear that the government had enforced a complete lockdown in place and businesses would have to ask their employees to work remotely, I wasted no time in scheduling a virtual team meeting to bring clarity and calmness to an otherwise chaotic situation.
I knew that my team would have their doubts regarding job security, remote work protocols, salary deductions, leave policies, work timings, and so on. I am glad that I scheduled this virtual meet quickly enough to erase such doubts. I convinced them there would be no salary cuts or risk of losing their jobs as I would do everything in my capability to keep the ball rolling.
I also made them aware that the organization expects them to adhere to remote work guidelines issued by the HR department and not take things casually. At ProofHub, we are proud to have a team that understands their roles and responsibilities to the core.
2. Ensured That All Team Members Have A Remote Work Set up
Once I made things clear about the current situation and cleared some insecurities and doubts that had crept up in the minds of some employees, the next important step I took was to check whether the people in my team had a remote work set up at home or not. Generally, employees would require a PC/laptop and a stable internet connection to get the job done.
Some of my employees did not have a PC/laptop, and so we made sure that we get these resources to them to make sure the workflow doesn’t get affected. Again, timely decisions taken by the senior management made sure that employees were able to start working from home on time and complete their tasks within set deadlines.
3. Maintained Strong Communication
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Without timely, swift communication amongst employees, and all levels of management, no business can expect to achieve success. At ProofHub, we always prioritize seamless communication over everything else irrespective of the location of work i.e. in-office or at home.
As soon as we had started working from home, I personally communicated with all team managers to make sure that they remain accessible to their teams during scheduled working hours.
During working hours, all team members used group chat for sending direct messages to an individual or group to get instant feedback. In case of weekly team meetings, the use of reliable and popular video conferencing software like Zoom proved quite handy due to the additional benefit of adding high quality visual cues to audio communication.
4. Monitored Costs Against Revenue
During this pandemic, I have realized that it is crucial for businesses to keep a close eye on their costs by properly assessing both fixed and variable expenses and the actual revenue generated. This fair assessment will paint a clear picture of how your organization is performing financially during the pandemic.
Using this information, business owners can plan ahead in the current unstable, unpredictable market environment. Thanks to smart strategy and zealous team, ProofHub continued to register a healthy number of organic website traffic as well as annual subscriptions. Additionally, the grim situation created by Covid-19 had no adverse effect on the morale of employees and we were able to achieve astounding results.
“Keep your intra-team communication swift and seamless with ProofHub. Subscribe NOW and get unlimited projects, unlimited users.”
5. Emphasis On Strengthening Emotional Fitness Of Employees
We all went through such peaks of sadness and trauma as we read or heard about people who succumbed to this illness, and people who had suffered unspeakable amounts of pain and loss. And through all of that, it has been incredibly hard to stay focused and driven. There’s this constant fear of uncertainty hanging over our heads.
It is just not the ideal mindset to stay productive and reach for the stars.
While some leaders will rise to the occasion and thrive in the middle of chaos, you cannot count out the possibility of becoming overwhelmed by fear. Emotional fitness is a key for a good organizational performance. So, I made sure that I practiced some useful exercises to maintain mental well-being. These are:
- Exercising daily
- Meditating twice a day
- Becoming aware of your emotional triggers
The Bottom Line
Undoubtedly, the lockdown enforced by the government has proved to be death knell for many businesses. It’s also true that not all businesses can operate from home due to the nature of service they provide.
That said, the IT industry is one of a kind as it managed to ride the tough wave of Covid-19 due to its online-based operations. Not everything is smooth though. As a responsible business owner and inspiring leader, you should make all efforts to ensure that all your team members are technically equipped to effectively perform their roles.
At the same time, you should also take steps for your (and your team’s) physical and mental health to manage stress and anxiety generated by the Covid-19 situation.
I sincerely hope that the five tips that worked like a charm for ProofHub in challenging times will also deliver the same results for you. Good luck!
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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.
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How I Was Able To Save My Business From Losing Steam During Covid-19(and potential closure) was originally published in ProofHub Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
How I Was Able To Save My Business From Losing Steam During Covid-19(and potential closure)