It’s ok not to be ok.
In periods of uncertainty, it’s ok not to have all the answers. Everyone is navigating these uncertain waters for the first time. Yet, despite the worry, anxiety and instability you need to remain resilient and visible to your clients and employees. How do you do this?
Undoubtedly, as coronavirus continues people will react differently and may become vulnerable. This may show through reduced productivity or general unhappiness.
Resilient people understand that bad things happen and don’t take it personally. They are also aware of what they can change and what they cannot.
The best way to build resilience is to be self-aware. What is helping and what is hindering you at this time? Resilience is a mindset and remining positive can be difficult. One common piece of advice is to limit the amount of negative media you consume. Negative headlines get a 63% higher click through rate than positive news. It is good to be aware of this, so you can limit your intake.
Another way to build resilience is to watch your team, which employees are performing well and why? What can you learn from them? Similarly, which employees are struggling and need your support?
Being aware of your employees and their behaviour will allow you to maintain a positive team culture and leave no one behind.
To support our employees at GE, we have increased our internal communications. Not only do we ensure teams are catching up with each other twice a week, but we have launched weekly newsletters and updates where we share health and wellbeing tips, as well as successes across departments. We have also implemented weekly virtual drinks and daily coffee breaks via ‘teams’. These initiatives along with regular business updates from our Partners instil a ‘we’re in this together’ culture.
To be resilient you need to focus on what you can control. We cannot control the coronavirus, but we can control how our firms respond. Through increasing communications and enabling employees to keep connected to the business in a positive way we can help create greater satisfaction and loyalty further down the line.
Success looks different in different environments. Before coronavirus, it was important to be visible to retain and attract clients and employees. Now, victories are smaller, and we need to be visible to simply protect our brands and retain the trust that we have built over the years.
The businesses that will come out of this crisis well are those that recognise clients are important on the other side of the curve. Therefore, communication is key. Your clients need to be aware of what your firm is doing to support them, what resources you have available and any new initiatives.
Regular marketing updates and newsletters work well, but each client should also be contacted personally by senior leaders as a courtesy and to remind clients that your team is available to support them. Personalisation was a huge trend before the crisis and now more than ever, this needs to continue.
You may consider offering support and advisory roles for free to existing clients temporarily, with the long-term objective for them to remember the support available and therefore remain loyal to your firm after the crisis.
It is also worth noting here that as people we are emotional decision makers (hence the toilet roll shortage in the UK!). Therefore, being front of mind for clients at this time will give us an advantage when clients are reviewing costs, deciding who they can pay and who they use for advice in the future.
Firms should remember to focus on what they can control. We have no control over whether clients struggling with cash flow will pay. We have no control over how team members react. However, we can control the support we provide to clients and our employees and how we are perceived by them.