Updated: May 22, 2020
I get it of course – you’re in crisis mode now – and focused solely on the financial stability of your business. The impact of Covid-19 took us all by surprise, even the businesses which had continuity plans quietly tucked away in advance. Nothing could prepare us for how deeply the requirement to distance/isolate affected our businesses and how fast. Those of us who had contingency plans found them sadly lacking and those without had to muddle through.
But how many have done so with their values intact?
‘Our people are at the heart of everything we do’
How quickly did you shove them on furlough and how many times have you spoken to them since?
‘Working in partnership with our key suppliers’
Have you actually paid everyone whose products and services your business used in February? Are you in contact with them at all?
‘Committed to Customer Service’
Are your customers still able to contact you in the normal way? And with the normal response times? If not, what have you put in place? Are queries that started before the lockdown being dealt with?
Acting your own self interest is understandable, even necessary, in the short term but the values statement you and your team put together a couple of years ago will be even more important now as you plan to re-build your business in the future.
You have invested time and energy establishing partnerships with your employees, suppliers, customers and the wider community. Don’t chuck it away now. You’ll know if your values were truly embedded by how flexible your company is and how quickly you’re able to react to changing market conditions.
If you find you’re less agile than you thought, maybe your values were only ‘aspirational’ and not ‘core’ and they weren’t properly embedded in all your systems and processes. That doesn’t mean they should be abandoned. Reviewed and updated possibly but not abandoned. I can help with that – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As you make plans to emerge from lockdown you’ll need to rely on the loyalty and trust you had in the past in order to regain your profits. Social distancing does not mean it’s impossible to maintain those relationships on some level. Keeping to your values is one of the most business-like activities you can do right now.