Change, at any level, can be disruptive, challenging, and scary. Now, add a pandemic on top of that, and managing changes as a small business can feel like the end of the world.

It is important to remember during these times of severe disruption that businesses:

a) Need to navigate the immediate changes posed by COVID-19 intelligently, in order to emerge stronger; and

b) Start preparing for a post-COVID environment, which will be especially different from the way businesses run today.

When change arises, it can also be an opportunity to gain trust and credibility amongst all business stakeholders, your customers, your employees, and the community. Businesses should understand the risks and ramifications of the situation and from there move to assist the community around them, using their credibility to build trust. The way businesses manage change, no matter the size, shows resilience and commitment.

Here are our top three ways to ensure your business successfully navigates the changes brought about by COVID-19:

1. Provide reassurance

COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s lives and brought mounting stress on individuals. Reassuring your stakeholders with messages of optimism, hope, and positivity can be equally as important as the nitty-gritty side of change like insurance and funding.

Simply put, instead of news cycles filling our social media platforms with COVID-19 headlines and adding to our stress levels, try leveraging your social media presence to spread messages of comfort, while also reassuring that your business is maintaining extra precautions during COVID-19. This can help manage the feelings and attitudes that arise during the disruption.

2. Reach out and acknowledge stakeholder emotions

Businesses need to be proactive by reaching out to stakeholders before disruptions affect your business past a point of no return. Involving every layer of your business during the transition will assist in stakeholders’ understanding of their place within the company. It is essential to ensure everyone is in alignment with the business’s motivations and visions during the change, as it will guarantee successful execution.

3. Communicate often

All key stakeholders must be communicated with often, especially during times of rapid change. There must be an understanding of the business’s plans amongst all stakeholders, staff, and customers alike, as well as the likely future impact on them. It is important to remain calm and clear in your communication during such immense disruption.

Ensuring your customers are ‘in the know’ about your services and any updated changes that are taking place is fundamental. All communication must be as honest and explicit as possible, with all individuals understanding how their work will be altered, as well as what is expected of them during and after the change.

If you or a business you know is struggling to navigate the change and disruption brought on by COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact us today, and see how we can help make the transition as smooth as possible.