In many ways, COVID-19 has turned the business world upside down. Large-scale disruptions, government social distancing mandates, and individual safety precautions have all impacted businesses in an unprecedented fashion. Are you aware of the new pitfalls facing entrepreneurs and employers as they forge ahead during these difficult times? Accordingly, let us take a moment to discuss three mistakes employers should avoid:
1. Missing the forest for the trees. It may seem obvious, but not all problems are the same. Too often employers and managers grip for past solutions while in a sea of new uncertainties. The COVID-19 crisis is global in scale and has unleashed macro challenges impacting supply chains and distribution channels. It has also forced small-scale changes regarding meetings, timelines, contracts, and employee relations. Make sure to allow for the flexibility to address new challenges and potentially existential issues, rather than rely solely on pre-COVID practices. Do not miss the bigger picture.
2. Doubling down. For most of this year, steps taken to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus have had the impact of crushing the economy and sending unemployment into the stratosphere. While the stock market has recovered and workers are being rehired as businesses are allowed to reopen, the economy is far from returning to normal. Employers may be tempted to put even more pressure on their employees to make up for lost productivity, but it usually is not worth it. Burnout, resentment, and avoidable mistakes are common when employers double-down in hard times. Instead, focus on limiting losses and building rapport for future gains.
3. Going soft and compromising values. While being too hard on employees is counter-productive, so is being too soft. Just because COVID-19 has introduced new challenges, such as socially distant workplaces and working from home, does not mean employers should back off from holding team members accountable. It is a careful balance that will make everyone better if properly addressed. Keeping true to your company’s values may also require amendments to existing policies and procedures. This could arm employers with the confidence to call out bad behavior and poor performance irrespective of COVID-19.
These are difficult and unprecedented times for all of us, business owners included. With these uncharted waters will come important issues and questions that will need to be addressed. If you or someone you know would like more information or guidance concerning a related legal matter, contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.