We have identified five key priorities for all business owners to consider:
Prioritise the safety of your team
The safety and wellbeing of your team in the workplace is essential. By adopting measures to both protect them and work effectively, staff can contribute to business recovery. Taking steps to help staff feel safe and addressing any concerns in a transparent manner will go a long way to reassure them.
Two adjustments most companies may have to consider is some form of flexible working – allowing teams to work remotely where possible or introduce social distancing measures where remote working is not possible. Businesses may also benefit from establishing employee wellbeing programs to support mental health and overall wellbeing in and out of the workplace.
Reshaping your business strategy
Many businesses have experienced significant disruption to their ‘business-as-usual’ operations and may have already faced income loses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the crisis we have witnessed significant supply chain challenges, as well as shifts in consumer behaviour. As a result, many businesses within the manufacturing, life sciences and retail sectors have had to adapt and reshape their business strategy.
A clear, transparent and timely communications plan is essential when creating a platform to reshape the business. Whilst it is important that businesses plan the spine of their communication plan, it needs to be sufficiently flexible to adapt to the constant evolving situation. By being clear and consistent in the way you communicate any changes in business operations will help secure ongoing support from customers, employees, partners and local authorities.
Maximise use of government advice and support
The UK Government have released a catalogue of policies and financial support to help businesses. Businesses can take advantage of the government guidance and financial support. It is important that business owners identify and understand each offer of support available and guidance policies and determine which ones are best.
The CPNI COVID-19 Workplace Actions campaign has developed resources to help encourage the right behaviours in business premises whilst keeping employees as safe as possible – view resources here.
Moving forward for Kent is an exciting new campaign launched by Kent County Council to help get the Kent economy back on its feet again, and support businesses and residents in county. For more information click here.
Build resilience for the ‘new norm’
Many businesses have experienced significant disruption to their ‘business-as-usual’ , it’s advisable for businesses to review and renew their business continuity plans.
Business owners should start by:
- anticipating what success looks like post recovery.
- what they have done well (and not so well) during lock down.
- plan how to thrive in the long-term.
This knowledge will allow businesses to introduce new internal guidelines, as well as solid contingency plans to build resilience and better respond to any future crises.
Our new Future Forward business service provides Kent and Medway SMEs with 12 hours of free consultancy time, delivered by our team of business advisors. Our business mentors have the experience and the expertise to guide your business to recovery. For more information click here.