As the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be slowly withering, it is an excellent time for small businesses to take stock on some important lessons learned from this difficult experience. The valuable knowledge gained from working through this demanding time will help your organization thrive in the post-pandemic business world.
Preparation and communication are vital
COVID has taught companies the value of comprehensive preparation to manage the impact of manmade and natural disasters of all types. Most importantly, every small business should have a business continuity plan, which will soften the worst effects of any crisis. The focus of such a plan should be on:
The most important aspect of any business continuity plan is to ensure and maintain the safety of your employees. These safety standards and procedures should apply to their work areas in the office or remotely. Companies need to develop a strict set of safety standards that employees carefully follow in the event of an emergency.
Regular communication from different sources
During an emergency, your employees will benefit from consistent communication via different methods such as emails, conference calls, and virtual meetings. Small businesses should use a variety of communication styles to keep their employees updated on important developments, provide reassurance, and maintain team morale.
Being prepared and having robust and diverse communication methods will improve every company’s business efforts in emergency situations and during normal times.
Data Security will always be challenging
Small businesses learned that protecting sensitive company and client data is even more challenging when many of their employees are working remotely. As a result of the increase in cybercriminal activity and the continued prevalence of remote work, companies will need to continue to provide significant financial resources for tools and training to optimize data security.
As the risks associated with cybercrime continue to grow, small businesses will be wise to prioritize their cybersecurity efforts. Organizations of all sizes and types should thoroughly prepare their employees and protect their networks with the most advanced tools and security systems.
COVID-19 taught small businesses a valuable lesson about the power of flexibility. During the pandemic, every company was forced to figure out innovative ways to adapt to unprecedented circumstances. The most successful companies were the ones who proved agile and open to making changes. These companies wisely left their comfort zones to try out and learn the best methods to keep their employees safe and their businesses operating at near optimal levels. A company’s ability and willingness to be flexible will help them overcome a wide variety of challenges.
Smart companies have always valued their employees, but COVID-19 highlighted the importance of well-trained and respected employees at a higher level. The companies that worked with their employees to find the best way to confront the work and social issues of the pandemic were the ones that were less negatively impacted.
A key lesson learned: showing employees that their skills and safety are highly valued will be rewarded with company loyalty and a continued high work ethic. The stressful situations brought about by COVID-19 also demonstrated the importance of listening to employee feedback and concerns.
Organizations have also increasingly realized that valuable employees are rich in job options now–thanks to the widespread adoption of remote workers. As a result, small businesses will need to offer their current and prospective employees flexible work schedules, which should include different working times as well as a variety of at home and in the office working opportunities. In the post-COVID work environment, companies will need to demonstrate and communicate their attention to employees’ well-being to achieve optimal employee recruitment and retention.
Value clients and the community
When business activity slowed down, organizations quickly discovered the importance of providing good service to clients and the power of the goodwill they had earned over their years in operation. When small businesses were struggling, they counted on the patience and understanding of their longstanding clients—many of whom were also facing desperate circumstances. As a result, it makes sense for companies to continue to offer their clients the best customer service possible and to always let them know how much they value their business.
In addition to their clients, small businesses learned the importance of collaborating with their entire community to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. Different companies, customers, and individuals all offered donations, products, and services to help the greater good during this tough time. These generous actions were not only the right thing to do, but they developed even more goodwill for companies and individuals, which made their community a better place to live and work.
With millennials and Generation Z workers becoming the majority of employees, a company’s attention to the health of their community as well as meaningful actions is becoming increasingly important.
Work closely with an IT Security partner
To help your company understand and benefit from the lessons learned from COVID-19, we recommend working with a trusted IT Support partner like Network Depot. A dependable IT partner will have the experience and insight into your company’s unique needs to help you most effectively overcome the challenges your organization will face in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Your reliable IT partner will offer useful recommendations on the latest and most effective hardware and software tools, IT security applications, and other materials, methods, and equipment, which will assist your small business in overcoming any obstacles. With the valuable assistance of a trusted IT Support partner, your organization will be able to achieve its unique mission more effectively.