Driving forward during The Crisis, and Beyond, to build and nurture internal and external relationships
As more businesses, schools, and other organizations shut down for quarantines and the collateral impacts, leaders have an opportunity to turn our current challenges into a positive step forward.
What – Creating and delivering value – from wherever
Our associates already have significant capabilities through their home and personal lives, that can unlock the opportunity to maintain social distancing, while still creating and delivering value for our organizations.
We all spend significant amounts of time online these days. Our social lives have almost as much automation and technology as our work lives. We can leverage that, to build meaningful relationships, and we don’t even have to give up funny cat videos.
In some cases, organizations struggle with the amount of time and bandwidth spent on social media during work hours.
Now we can apply that to those who cannot “report to work” due to social distancing and quarantines.
Why – Engagement
The most reliable measurement or predictor for high performance is the level of engagement. Most of us can build and benefit from engagement on every level.
We also usually profess our values to include how much we care about out associates and customers. Engaging at the personal level leads to:
- Engaged associates, engaged customers, engaged partners, engaged vendors
- A clear demonstration of our values in action
- Keeping people working, as they create and deliver real value
- Recognizing the value of relationships, now more than ever within our organization
- Demonstrated empathy and support in tangible ways
- Recognizing the value of relationships with customers, vendors, partners and other stakeholders
What can we do? Is there really value here?
Today more than ever, a personal touch differentiates the top performers from the rest of the pack. As we connect our associates with our other stakeholders, we have the opportunity to significantly improve the value of our relationships and to build durable relationships that become mutually beneficial.
- More and better feedback and information sharing
- Associate to stakeholder outreach
- Checking on associates and customers
- Looking forward to better times
- Building feedback loops and getting closer to market / target group
- Social Media – personal touch
- Individual preferences are very important
- Helping get the conversations started
- Google Hangouts / Meet – organizational communications center
- Internally focused
- Helping associates with information and messaging
- Externally focused
- Creating a caring community, establishing an information hub
- Internally focused
- Decide to act!
- Communicate, share your perspective, and be open to helping and being helped
- Realize that the way we need to work today (and tomorrow!) has fundamentally shifted, and commit to moving forward
- Engage your associates, peers, and your 360° circle of stakeholders to collaborate
- Empower your associates to initiate and build relationships at a personal level that will engage them and your stakeholders:
- Leverage their platform(s) of choice
- Help identify those stakeholders for outreach
- Provide messaging and information that will help connect and then build a meaningful relationship
- Collect the feedback and information received to facilitate better services and offerings
- Share the vision, set expectations, and establish ground rules
Platforms & Assistance
The best options for bi-directional information exchange are
- Google Hangouts / Meet
- Skype / Zoom
Some will prefer more graphically oriented platforms
What you should be doing to support:
- Provide informal training and coaching for communications skills such as videoconferencing
- Provide pre-written communications that will help get started
- Share graphics and graphically rich information
- Use internally oriented platforms to share experiences, ideas, and responses received, such as
- Skype / Zoom / WebEx / GoToMeeting
- Google Hangouts, and even
- Share content, stories, ideas for conversational topics to help those who may struggle with what to say, or where to go after the initial hello
Professional development & organizational development
Looking ahead, most organizations realize that they skills they have in place today may not be the skills they need tomorrow. This is a perfect time to have folks that are ready, willing and able to upskill or re-skill via online courses.
- Professional training and certifications
- YouTube, LinkedIn and other sources of training on technology and other skills, such as Python programming
- Online resources such as SalesForce.com, especially for veterans
In some cases, this may be the time to adjust your business model to reflect what is likely to be a tectonic shift in the business landscape, or even make a pivot.
- Taking the time now to create Value Stream Maps and looking to Value Stream Management as an approach to re-focusing on your core mission and defining values.
We want to help you
If you’re not sure where to start or unclear if or how this could apply to you or your re-organization, reach out to us!
We’ll spend up to an hour online with you to discuss, share ideas, and help get you started at NO CHARGE.
Comments by Jack Maher