(This article is contributed by Chitra Balasubramaniam, Founder of Tres'chic Academe, an etiquette & image consultancy company)
The Coronavirus pandemic is giving rise to a global economic crisis, with ramifications across industries, similar to the crisis of 2008. Such a crisis affects companies large and small, challenging an organisation’s management and its employees.
Transparency is the key to weather a crisis like this. Employees may be struggling with feelings of isolation compounded by uncertainty, fear and anxiety for the safety of their loved ones. This calls for a more humane way to do business and show support for the individuals in the organisation at various positions starting from an intern to a senior manager.
The Role of Conscious Capitalism
We need to move forward using the tenets of conscious capitalism, which preaches focus on your purpose beyond profit. As you strategize, involve your team; communication is essential. Understand their fears and anxiety and try to address it. Implement transparency.
We can approach different stakeholders within an organisation (internal and external) and appeal to them to build mutually beneficial relationships, rather than focusing on individual transactions. This will definitely work as an asset that will help in building long term, sustainable businesses. Empathy for all stakeholders is crucial, thus helping your team to get through a challenging time of economic fallout like this.
Deploy the Blue Ocean Strategy
It’s time to support and build trust in our employees, be more humane. Uncommon situations ask for uncommon solutions; we need to revamp protocols based on the triple bottom line approach : People, Planet, Profit.
The global scale of the pandemic is taking not only a toll on the economy but also on mental health. A comprehensive protocol should be formulated under HR initiatives to provide organised intervention for employees undergoing a mental health crisis during this pandemic.
These intervention techniques should be carried out by trained organisational psychologists and mental health counselors. Small and medium enterprises as well as multinational companies, and even solo-entrepreneurs, must seek professional help and guidance during this time.
Additionally, there are Employee Assistance Programmes: third party helplines which are provided as a resource to the employees if they are going through a difficult time. Many of these assistance programs offer relaxation techniques which provide emotional support.
For industry leaders, staying motivated is crucial. It is easy to roll over, and simply wait for the storm to pass. But by nature, entrepreneurs just don’t know how to do that. However, it is important to keep focused no matter what the other side looks like. Entrepreneurs read many books on grit and resilience: now is the time to put all of that learning into practice.
Sometimes it is hard to look at an industry and think about what you can do with it differently, when you are not even allowed to operate during hurdles like these. However a lot of creativity and innovation comes out of need. Also, in a crisis, it's important to embrace minimalism. Emerging from the crisis will be a gradual process. It is important to plan appropriately for the various stages of the global market’s recovery.
Experts predict that many business models will change and entire sectors in some industries will not exist when this is all over. People’s behavior after this period will also be very different. This will create numerous opportunities for many industries, and we must spend our time now thinking about what the world will look like after this is over, and what role would we like to play in it.
It's all about survival of the fittest. To survive in these desperate situations it requires success mindset, personal growth. The way you respond to every situation is all about your personal growth.
(Edited by Athira Nair)