At PEO Leadership, we constantly speak about the importance of communication in exhibiting leadership in running our organizations. Communication is even more important during chaotic and uncertain times, such as what we are facing today. As you move forward in contingency and communication planning in your organizations, I encourage you to consider the famous saying: A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. Getting in front of your employees to set out your plans and answer their questions on a timely basis instills confidence and ensures that they don’t perceive there to be a communication vacuum. This doesn’t mean that you will have all the answers, nor does it mean that you can’t be nimble and adapt as the situation unfolds.
It is times like this that great leaders are recognized. I think of the leadership that the Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, just showed in decisively shutting down all NBA games once 1 player tested positive for COVID-19. This was quickly followed by the rest of the major league sports teams deciding to shut down, but it is Silver’s timely action that will be most remembered as showing strong leadership.
As a community, I encourage us to share best practices with each other. Below are some practices that I have heard over the last few days from our members:
- Organizations are either implementing work from home policies or eliminating non-essential meetings internally with employees and/or externally with customers and stakeholders. Although as humans we get tremendous comfort and support when we come together, the science says otherwise when dealing with a pandemic. I urge you to read an article that was written on March 10 https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca to gain a better understanding of why we all must act now to practice social distancing. In serving our members, PEO Leadership meetings have become virtual for the next 60 days.
- With social distancing and, in some cases, isolation, there will be issues around employee engagement. We are not wired nor accustomed to working in isolation. As leaders of your organizations, the need to touch base with your teams is critical. Increase the frequency of your meetings – virtually.
- For those operating small to mid-size businesses, I want to reiterate the importance of understanding your cash position today and what it will look like over the next 3 to 6 months. This requires you to build a forecast looking at various scenarios (best, likely, worst). I have heard from leaders who are taking action now to cut back to ensure that they are able to ride through the slowdown ahead.
- Leaders are training themselves and their management teams on how to use web technology effectively and efficiently. Depending on your demographics, your employees may not be accustomed to using web technology – offer sessions on how to use the technology to your staff. We will be setting up a PEO Leadership web call on Monday as an information session to train our members on how to effectively use web technology to run a great meeting.
- Leaders are thinking about their employees’ mental health (anxiety, depression) as well as their physical health in dealing with the virus.
Please also see below, links to various articles/calls that may be of interest to you.
- PEO Leadership’s Tips for working remotely: Click here for: PEO Leadership Working Remotely Tips
- Recording of our March 13 call with Greg Thompson and John Kustec of Focus Asset Management, a PEO Leadership educational partner, on the volatility and opportunity in the markets: Click here for: Focus Asset Mgmt Zoom Webcast Recording – March 13
- PEO Leadership educational partner, Cleveland Clinic’s Coronavirus Website: Click here: For Cleveland Clinic Corona Virus Landing Page
We wish you, your families and businesses continued health and safety during these difficult times.