Before the world is torn apart by another health crisis, people should already learn from this coronavirus pandemic to be better in overcoming the challenges that they will face. Not only health professionals and government officials but also business leaders and owners should learn their lessons so they can carry the weight of their responsibilities.
Retailers should set their priorities straight. Keeping their employees safe is first and foremost. Establishing good, centralized communications should come next, and last but not the least, stabilizing their operations to ensure smooth recovery.
Here are some post-crisis strategies focused on taking immediate and decisive action.
Identify the essentials – In order to effectively operate remotely, retailers should lead proactively. A perfect example of this is by knowing that the well-being of their employees is ultimately important nowadays. They should also use strategies that will help motivate their employees’ efficiency and productivity. There are different channels that they can utilize such as Skype, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts Chat, Zoom, etc.) to establish real-time, constant communications, and conduct regular goal setting with their employees.
Learn to have Adaptability – By always being ready for change and knowing that the list of priorities in your operations could change almost daily, one would easily know how to overcome sudden challenges with zero to minimal collateral damage. It is easier to plan and implement solutions if versatile and flexible systems are in place instead of having permanent ones which require even larger and harder adjustments.
Embrace an Agile Mindset – Large firms should apply this strategy not only for software development, but also for its other departments such as sales, operations, and marketing. Leaders should take the initiative of identifying what practices should continue and what should be immediately stopped. Anything that hinders the search for ways to know what is best for the customers should be eliminated immediately.
Have a balanced response in the different parts of your business – The new normal in the retail industry is not only about centralizing communications, attending to the employees’ needs, having work from home set up, and stabilizing the supply chain. It is also about effective business monitoring/forecasting. The marketing/sales alignment across all operations particularly customer support should be balanced and regularly reassessed to make sure everything is going according to plan.
Change your guiding principles – Retailers should focus on promoting diversity, modularity, evolvability, cautiousness, and collective understanding within their company and among their employees. Everyone should be inspired to have a modular way of problem solving and diverse thinking. This pandemic requires us all to go beyond our usual way of thinking and think of more creative and effective ways to help those around us.
Put the next crisis in mind: As much as we want to be positive and hopeful, we know that it is best if we expect that there’s a bigger one coming after this global problem because that makes us appreciate the value of scenario planning. It urges retailers to come up with contingency plans that will effectively minimize risks. All efforts should be dispensed in identifying critical paths and preparing backup plans to minimize future disruptions and boost cross-functional team proficiencies.