Managing Your Business Through the Phases of a Crisis


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Videos in this Series


Chapter 1: Working from Home & the Hybrid Worker Are Here to Stay >

Chapter 2: Managing Your Business Through the Phases of a Crisis >

Chapter 3: Building A Virtual Culture by Humanizing Work >

Chapter 4: Transitioning Out of Band-Aid Crisis >

Chapter 5: Preparing for Post-Pandemic Business >




Mona Abou Sayed
When are we going to start seeing change? I think we saw a change immediately. I think though as we kind of go into the next part of this as you know all of these companies are going through different phases and how they're reacting and learning and kind of adapting so that's, that's where we're going to start to see some, some, you know, some real change so I mean initially companies started in the phase of reaction right, and they're like okay now what do we do, you know you had some companies like you said that were already prepared so they immediately just kind of increased their licensing, increased their exposure to more employees in the organization, but others that had nothing in place to handle the change and so there was a lot of emotions, a lot of change for a lot of people. And then, as, as things started to kind of, you know, the big rush was passed, people were mitigating, trying, learning to figure out you know, how am I going to work in this normal or next normal? What am I going to do? How am I going to manage you know having a child over here? eLearning right next to me using up the bandwidth that I need to have a meeting. You know, just getting this whole work life blend and that's when you started to see I think a lot of stress in and people right before, you know, the hours a lot of work day has suddenly extended and encroached upon lunchtime and breakfast time and even dinner and, you know, that doesn't seem to be an end to the day. And then, you know, we're kind of moving into this reassurance phase where we’re realizing that, you know what we're just gonna have to learn to adapt and this was how this is how we want to be able to move forward in business, and this is how we need to support our employees from a reassurance standpoint, we’re planning now, how are we going to survive in the future and finally we're going to be in the recovery period, over time, but I think we're somewhere in between these mitigation and reassurance depending on where you were in the journey already.


Laurie McCabe
Mona, you know, I love this chart, because I think it really captures the way a lot of people think about this and are moving through this, and I mean we're already seeing so many companies and not just like the Googles and Facebooks or whatever saying okay you know we're gonna extend work and for a significant amount of time I mean this this local bank that I mentioned before, a lot of these employees, they've decided they've learned. Hey, they can do their jobs at home. And so we're planning right now I think this kind of in that reassurance phase you mentioned, their planning, how do we you know maybe rethink some of our applications, security infrastructure kinds of things, so that we can really do this better, you know, not just in that react kind of way we started with.


Mona Abou Sayed
Absolutely. And I'm finding so many more creative, creative solutions, just from my social circle right I have a someone in my social circle that has you know a newborn child and they were planning for those they were going to be heading back into the office and daycare and all of a sudden they found themselves trapped at home both working full time with a newborn baby and their childcare. And you know what they told me exactly is, well there's no such thing as a workday anymore, we have work that needs to get done right it's not it's not a place it's not a time, work is an activity we it get it done when we get it done and as long as you're getting your job done. So it's a complete mindset change you know this time card popped up, you know where are you are you actually in the office it's totally changed so it's not even just work from home, it’s work from anywhere, it’s work where you need to be.


Laurie McCabe
Right which has all those cultural implications, I think.


Mona Abou Sayed
Yeah, exactly, I think, I think it's really interesting to see. You know how not only if you look at, you know, we've had the adjust business, thinking about how I am, changing my adapting my business to digitally enable different interactions, focusing on you know phone and virtual business practices wherever necessary. Training, you've still got to onboard. I bet you still got to train your customers, you've got to train your partners, you've got to train and onboard new employees, which is a really big change when you never can interview people in person. During this time of change. The last piece is just now you've also got this manager-employee relationship and how are you going to start to coach people in these environments. You know without that personal face to face interaction it's kind of retraining a lot of people to think differently.


Brent Leary
Which one of these areas, do you think small businesses are going to be most challenged by?


Laurie McCabe
Uhm, let’s see, which one do I think.


Mona Abou Sayed
I think the go to market motion about, small businesses really rely on local traffic a lot right, from it depends I guess it really depends on what kind of small business you're talking about so I would say, depending on where it is and what kind of what kind of market you're in it would it would be different. What do you think Laurie.


Laurie McCabe
Yeah, I agree, obviously, a business that relies on the physical location and physical service and stuff, I’m thinking of the hairdressers and, and, you know, doctors, dentists, things like that. You know, you're going to have to figure out what goes online and virtual well and what doesn't, you know, obviously, if I have skin rash, like I can show that to my dermatologist . But if I’m having a heart attack, I really better call 911 get that ambulance and shoot on over to the hospital, but I personally think that in a lot of businesses the biggest challenge is going to be in the culture of, like you were saying Mona, you know it's not about how many hours I see sitting you in a desk now right, it's got to be about really defining what are the outcomes for this employee and what can we do to help this employee achieve this outcomes that all like add up to what the business goals are. I think in some businesses that comes naturally but in others, it's hard you know it's hard to trust and trust is really going to be at the heart of all this and really good you know objectives and defined roles and goals.


Mona Abou Sayed
Yeah, yeah absolutely actually in the next slide, when we were talking about really the, you know what I've what I've really observed as the human connection and humanization, you know, bringing back the human and what we're doing humanizing work again right we, I think we kind of turned into robots at some point in time, and bringing it back to reality and bringing your whole self to work. But, but essentially now as a leader in a business, you've got to start thinking about your employee and their whole self, right. Well, you know, the in the past where you may have been in the office or you have a handful of remote workers they were kind of accustomed to being on their own. While not necessarily always feeling as engaged as they could be because the majority were in the office, and we're used to that. What I really like about what we've been through is that we really even the playing field. Now everybody's working from home and now we all know what it feels like for those remote workers, so I think in the future. We're going to see a lot more empathy towards that type of environment those people that are working alone, so video conference calls are key and critical to that. And then not just not just making it where it's just a video call, like I've observed over the last several weeks. And when we get into a call now there's a little bit more of this human connection at the beginning and even when you wrap up early and, you know, bringing some fun to that whether it's you know, playing a game or having a meeting theme and things like that. We also have to you know again making people not feel isolated because we've even that playing field everyone felt it now, everyone knows what it's like you're sitting between four walls, or you're sitting out in the open area at home was surrounded by other people your new coworkers who are your family, and now you've got to, you can understand and empathize with those that are working from home permanently and really kind of thinking about the people right. And then, obviously, as we reassure and move into this next phase, understanding what do we need to be successful. What defines success what defines, what defines, you know, work and measuring outcomes. You know what are we going to how are we going to measure that they are being successful and how do you how do you now interview employees differently to think about whether or not they're prepared to this to this type of work and life balance.


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