We are in a global defining moment. While we all hope economies can reopen sometime soon, we have a rare opportunity to think about what we want our piece of the world to look like when that happens. This article will pose some of the questions businesses of all sizes should be thinking about so that leaders can be prepared. Not all considerations will apply to every business and most will need to adapt the questions to their unique circumstances. This is not an exhaustive list. Rather, the intent is to trigger thoughtful preparations.
Who are my customers and what are their needs now?
No business can survive without their customers. How have their needs changed in the COVID-19 world?
- Do I need to adapt my products or services to meet new and different needs?
- Is now the time to refocus my strategy on my most profitable segments?
- Are there opportunities to pivot to new products or services.
- Has the environment created an opportunity to develop adjacent offerings?
- How do I know?
- Am I talking to my customers now to understand what they are thinking?
- Should you reopen with a big bang or should you phase a reopening?
What do I want my employee experience to be?
Just as a business needs customers, it also needs employees to service those customers. Your employees are the face of your brand. What do I need to do for and with my employees?
- Is my physical workplace safe for employees to re-enter?
- How do I keep it safe?
- How do I assure my workforce stays healthy while also respecting medical and other privacy concerns?
- If social distancing continues to be required for a long time (which is likely at least until we have an effective vaccine that has been widely deployed) what options do I have to keep my workforce (and customers) safe?
- If some or all of my employees have been working remotely, what has worked well and what has not?
- Should I continue to have some of workforce continue to work remotely?
- If I have had to furlough or lay off some of my workforce, who do I bring back and when? Be careful in this decision to avoid inadvertently creating an adverse impact on a protected class of employee.
The answers to these and other questions should help you to evaluate your business model and what, if any changes are appropriate and important as we enter a new normal.
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