Quick-take tips for coping with COVID-19

The three-sentence work-from-home policy — For any leader faced with the new normal — and especially for people whose leadership style skews toward command and control — suddenly needing to manage a distributed workforce can feel extremely uncomfortable. Don’t be tempted to create a comprehensive list of expectations, guidelines, procedures, policies…and worst of all, potential repercussions. Inc. magazine contributing editor Jeff Haden says your work-from-home policy can be three short sentences:

1. Get your work done.

2. Be available.

3. Over-communicate.

“What matters is what gets done,” says Haden. “Trust your employees to step up, whatever they’re working on. Good employees don’t need policies. They just want to know what really needs to get done.”

Dedicated coronavirus web page — For businesses that are significantly impacted by the crisis, it may be necessary to explain how you’re adapting on a dedicated page or right on your homepage, says George Nguyen on Marketing Land. Larger brands can also use the media/PR sections of their site for this purpose. In your statement, outline the situation for your customers and keep this information up-to-date.

Work on long-term investments — This may be the ideal time to re-evaluate your operations, platforms and processes and do some long-term strategic planning, says Gregg Schwartz, vice president of sales and marketing at Strategic Sales & Marketing, a lead generation company. If you have a few big prospects in the pipeline, now is a good occasion to put more energy into lead management and nurturing those longer-term opportunities.

Pool the information you have at your disposal — “The source of panic is usually from the unknown,” Abby Mangold, founder and MD of crisis management agency, The Mangold Consultancy, told London-based B2B Marketing. Start by mapping what you can know about this situation. Spend time calmly examining the business impact the coronavirus may have on you, your teams and your customers. Emphasize the facts you’ve established, but don’t ignore the gaps in what you know. “You often know very little at the beginning. Conversely, later on in a crisis, you end up having way too much information, which you’ve got to sift through,” Mangold says. Understanding wherever it is you’re starting from means you’ll be able to assign the right people to gather the information you need.

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