Posted by Thelma Marshall, VP of Solutions, July 21, 2020
COVID 19 is fueling stress levels throughout many businesses. Navigating all of the unknown impacts to your employees as well as your suppliers is challenging. But with the right communication, your business can make it through this tough period successfully and strengthen professional relationships along the way.
Bonds and loyalty are created when surviving something life-altering together. But to build on that trusted relationship, communication is a must.
Supply chains are living, breathing ecosystems and everyone needs to feel like they are being kept in the loop. It may seem trivial, but proactive communication with your suppliers can go a long way to easing their worries. The same holds true for your workers.
For example, say your payments to suppliers are delayed. If they understand what’s happening with payments, how your company is adapting to today’s challenges, and exactly when they’ll get paid, they can plan their own cash flow better. Knowledge is not just power, sometimes it is what truly builds trust.
Tips to remember:
- Explain delays as soon as possible to your suppliers, including any delay to payments.
- Reassure customers that your enterprise has weathered tough storms before. Share how it has evolved and been able to reinvented itself or adapt.
- Offer concern and understanding for what your supplier has gone through because of COVID 19 and the challenges they are currently facing.
Squelching the rumors
Employees need assurance, strategies and leadership right now. There are so many unknowns during this crisis that any news or direction communicated to them can go a long way in building confidence in the future.
This also helps to squelch rumors that cultivate misinformation and cause unnecessary worry.
Tips to remember:
- Lack of communication breeds fear and uncertainty. While nobody knows for certain what will happen in the future, but don’t be a manager that fuels the uncertainty.
- Remind employees of the changes in place to keep them safe. Focus on their well-being. For example, staggering clock in/out times so there are not large groups of employees exiting or arriving at one time.
- Actively build trust. This is an opportunity to engage and strengthen the connection the company has with its employees.
- Survey employees regularly so you can identify where practical concern and stress is coming from.
- Talk to your workers about their concerns about being at work or if stress is elevated because they or a family member are in a high-risk group for COVID 19 complications.
- Ask employees about any workstation configurations that fail to support a safe and effective workflow environment for them. Look closer at workspaces where safety seems to be an issue. Use historical telematic data to determine areas that accidents or near-miss issues most often occur and real time insight to highlight current issues with traffic congestion or reckless behavior.
Proactive steps in communication — supported by an advanced telematics platform — helps to ease some of the stress COVID 19 for your company and will help monitor and protect your employees.