How to Manage the Reputation of Your Business during the Pandemic
1. Support: The help other people need vary significantly. Consider how your organization decides to support others in times of need, it not only the right thing to do, but is also likely to be reciprocated, by winning great business deals in the long-run.
2. Sustain Professional Relationships: Many employees, partners and investors are finding themselves furloughed, which creates an ambiguous and ambivalent relationship between you and your employees. Think carefully about how you sustain your relationship with this group as your future success is likely to depend on them.
3. Be Transparent: It is often assumed that full transparency is the utopia. It is essential to be frank and open with staff around their job prospects and with funders and investors about the future scenarios of your business in the short- and medium-term. It takes courage to be open with others and although this will bring anxiety and nervousness, it is more desirable than silence which will not garner respect and goodwill from others in the long-term.
4. Communicate: It is essential to communicate with your key stakeholders. This gives them reassurance that you are aware of the issues at stake, you are working through them and you are giving them information to process and respond to. Think carefully about how much information you really need to provide and when is most appropriate to send your messages.
5. Have Backups: In the same way that succession and replacement planning is expected for the Chief Executive, it is essential that there is clarity in advance for all critical roles within your organization. Do you have a plan for who is in charge when different people are absent? A clear plan ensures that effective decisions are made proactively rather than haphazardly.