It’s times like these that we realize how meaningful our relationships are to our well-being and health. Separated from all but our household family members – and for those who live alone, separated from everyone – we are aware of how much we miss our extended family, friends and colleagues. Let’s also recognize the importance of these relationships extends beyond our personal lives. As business leaders, we also see that these connections are critically important to the health of our organizations, and our ability to respond during a crisis.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that we are both on the receiving and giving end of these relationships. We are each part of a larger system that keeps everything running – our businesses and the economy as a whole. We rely on other organizations just as our customers rely on us. We rely on our employees, and their families depend on them. As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we must continue to rely on each other for strength and support. At NAVEX Global, and with this in mind, we keep the following guidance front and center as we navigate this trying time.
Everyone, and every business, is under pressure. Let’s all remember to take a moment to check in with each other and ask, "how are you doing?"
It is critically important that we take care of ourselves and our teams. There’s a reason why airlines tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. As business leaders, we need to permit people to take care of themselves and their families. This isn’t business as usual, and we need to allow for accommodations. Teams need to hear and see that from us. Once our teams feel safe, secure and empowered, they can also focus on their customers.
Our customers are under tremendous pressure too. In responding to the challenges brought on by the coronavirus, many company leaders have learned that their business continuity plan wasn’t quite as strong as they’d hoped. Many issues they are now facing have to do with their reliance on vendors, suppliers and service providers. We have always talked about the importance of knowing our supply chain, but it’s times like these when we realize how vital these third-party relationships are to business operations.
NAVEX Global has been designated as an essential supplier by many of our customers and we take this responsibility seriously. We’re proactively addressing questions they may have and also designated a member of the executive team to serve as a liaison for any significant customer concerns. If we do our job well, they can do theirs –and that’s how the cycle works.
We are also a customer. We rely on business partners, suppliers and service providers. Is there something we can do to be better clients right now? Consider naming a single point of contact for each partner and limiting the number of touches so as to not overwhelm their response teams. And, it is important to take a moment to ask sincerely about how they are holding up before launching into our list of questions or requests. We need them as much as they need our business.
Everyone, and every business, is under pressure. Let’s all remember to take a moment to check in with each other and ask, "how are you doing?" We are all in this together, and we need each other to keep moving forward.
And of course, we are stronger together.