By Owen Manningham:
Bad times are inevitable in life, and that is true for corporations as well. We all have seen corporations deal with financial crises, employees misconducts, data breaches, corruption scandals, product recalls, natural disasters, and pandemics. If not handled properly, such happenings threaten the businesses’ very existence. They can have detrimental effects such as impeding customers’ trust, destroying company reputation and credibility, and disrupting operations.
However, in the midst of that crisis, there is an opportunity lying there to start again stronger and improved. So, how do you spot such opportunities in a time when it seems impossible. We highlight for you five things that you need to turn that crisis into an opportunity.
- A Crisis Plan
Your first step in dealing with a crisis is being ready to attack. Crisis hits unexpectedly and sometimes without warning. A forward-thought leader anticipates and prepares adequately for bad times before they happen. That is why it is important to have a crisis plan in place. However, having a crisis plan is not enough. You need to ensure that it is capable of handling a crisis if it hits today. How can you do this? First is by constantly reviewing it to ensure that it stays relevant. Check out for any blind spots and gaps in the plan, improve it and update it accordingly. In addition, train the people needed to execute the plan regularly to ensure readiness at all times. Lastly, carry out crisis simulations regularly to test the effectiveness and adjust whenever possible. With a relevant crisis in place, you can move very fast in case of a crisis and be able to spot potential opportunities in a quick manner.
- Being Proactive in Finding Facts
Moving blindly during a crisis can be catastrophic. You need a clear picture of what is going on at all times if you are to move forward. This means having the hard facts at hand at every given moment. When a crisis hits, your first response should be to put up a team for fact-finding. Empower the team to dig deeper to identify what happened and what led to the crisis. Were there ways that it could have been prevented? What is the current situation? Having such information at hand can help you make solid and strategic decisions about the situation. In addition, you will be prepared with answers to the questions that your workforce and customers are asking. Most importantly, having facts at hand can help you easily identify areas that you can take advantage of to grow profits and foster business growth.
- Reviewing Your Resources
Reviewing your resources at this time helps you identify how you can maximize their use in the areas that they are needed the most. Take a look at the expenses to identify areas that you can cut back in a bid to release some finances. Then you can direct the free funds to where they are needed. Going by the recent pandemic, it became clear that corporates needed to invest in technology as a matter of urgency. Corporates that had cut back in other areas were able to do that easily.
Reviewing resources also means reorganizing your workforce, reassigning roles and responsibilities, and training select people to take up new challenges. Additionally, find ways that you can free your organization’s time to concentrate on the most pressing issues. One of the best ways is to outsource your payroll and employees’ issues to a PEO.
So, what is a professional employer organization? This is an organization that enters into a contract with businesses to provide HR services. These services include payroll management, employee benefits, HR consulting among others. On top of saving you time, a PEO can ensure that you stay compliant during a crisis, especially where employee taxes and benefits are changing.
- Expanding Your Comfort Zone
When you are operating normally and everything is going, as usual, growth rarely happens. The good thing about a crisis is that it pushes corporates out of their comfort zone. Moreover, that is where growth and opportunity lie. Understanding this can help you delight in the current situation, stop looking at it as a misfortune and look keenly at the growth opportunities that it presents. Rather than wishing it away so that you can get back to business as usual, ask how your business can come out of the other end better and improved. This is the time to find ways to implement long-overdue changes that have always been put on hold.
- Learning to Unlearn
It is never business as usual during a crisis. Sticking to doing things how you know will only give the same results over and over again. To move forward, you need to do things differently. This might mean unlearning what you know and learning new ways of doing things. So, you need to take a hard look at what is working right now. Discard whatever is not working and find better ways of doing it in order to realize growth in times of adversity. If the global pandemic is anything to go by, corporates were forced to adapt to the new normal of working remotely. Moreover, great savings in terms of reduced office overheads have been realized.
The crisis throws businesses into uncertainties and confusion. But, for those who embrace it as a time to learn and grow, a crisis can make them realize new heights never seen before. However, this can happen if you are prepared with a good crisis plan. Take the bull by the horns by finding facts fast and objectively. Additionally, be open to unlearning and learning new things and determine the best ways to maximize your available resources.