The global economy is seeing a sharp fall in stock markets, volatility in exchange rates, and increase in commodity prices. This calls for changes in monetary predictions for economic growth in 2020. With the global and national crisis ahead and challenges that require both immediate and long-term actions, the key is to prepare for action.
Organizations should operate minimally, execute with agility, and prioritize investments while staying focused on protecting their people. Correspondingly, the government has already implemented social distancing and work from home policies. As a result, businesses have turned to online platforms for survival. Organizations continue to respond to uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 crisis giving way to critical business challenges. In this regard, it is imperative for businesses to revive themselves in an efficient, organized, and coordinated manner. Organizations that prioritize emerging stronger will be the ones that can successfully navigate through this period of uncertainty.
So, what are the main Covid-19 business challenges that businesses are facing?
Covid-19 Business Challenges and Considerations:
Main challenge: Workforce welfare and management
The first aspect of addressing Covid-19 business challenges would be to look after employee health and safety concerns. The main challenge of any organization is to ensure the safety of its staff. In the first place, organizations should identify if their workforce is affected and see if anyone has reported sickness within the staff. They should provide protocols on working from home and revisit the travel and insurance policies of the staff. Equally, it is important to provide comfort to workers and a safe work environment with practical operational considerations. A healthy mindset should be achieved to cope up with the pandemic. Businesses should assess potential impact and develop support options using employee location/profile and emerging intelligence data. HR policies should be adjusted to align with local regulations. Businesses should enhance knowledge-base to reskill the employees and curate wellness programs for higher productivity.
Communicating effectively with key players
Up next would be communicating with customers/ clients and stakeholders. This is of utmost importance. Therefore, having an agile, responsive, and rapid communication is imperative during times of crisis to avoid delay in decision-making. Companies should develop this communication in alignment with the crisis management structure. A rapid communications plan and approach is a must to maintain trust and reputation among key stakeholders. They are to be updated about the changes and the status of your business during the crisis situation. They will know what to expect going forward. It is important to carry effective communication via regular emails, meetings, and other mechanisms. Also, cross-functional communication among employees will ensure stability in daily processes.
Identifying critical business functions for formulating strategies
Companies need to identify which of their business functions are essential to their continuing operations. Accordingly, businesses should develop a clear and concise strategy to plan how to perform any critical activity. They should apprise third parties apprised of contingency plans if those critical functions are supported by them. Businesses must carry out an operational risk assessment and monitor the impact of disruption on critical business functions.
Reviewing existing policies and procedures
An organization’s current crisis and business continuity policies, procedures, and response plan should be relevant to recent developments under the current Covid 19 scenario. Alongside this, it is important to review and monitor these policies and procedures supporting infrastructure regularly. This will enable the strengthening of new strategies and response plans.
Keeping up with legislation
To understand and follow new legislation changes, business owners will need to monitor news from the local, state, and federal government daily. Most importantly, organizations should make sure that the information is authentic, from an official source, such as government websites, bank authorities, or other professionals in the concerned network.
Developing a dynamic crisis response and management structure
A crisis response structure with established workstreams, clear responsibilities, and accountabilities should be established. Personnel with appropriate authority and competency should monitor this. It should also be agile and adaptive due to the nature of disasters that can dynamically change anytime. Furthermore, the management structure should have the ability to support crisis and response planning.
Implementing a business continuity scheme
Companies need to determine certain trigger points to serve as leading indicators along with applicable thresholds. So, each critical point such as social distancing, lockdown, or recovery phase, needs to be addressed accordingly with different strategies. During plan implementation, companies need to continuously monitor and evaluate their effectiveness for business continuity.
As a matter of fact, coronavirus has impacted all businesses significantly at a global level. To address that, executives have to address Covid-19 business challenges impacting their operations during the pandemic situation. Leaders are ensuring employee welfare and safety, customer engagement, strong financial management, and other basic operational support processes across departments. As businesses plan to resume operations post the lockdown, resurrecting supply chains and making them more resilient pose the biggest challenge for organizations.