Among other things, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we all have a part to play. We’ve committed to staying socially distant and avoiding gatherings that could cause direct exposure to someone carrying the virus. We’ve also aimed to slow the spread by wearing face coverings. We try our best to remain patient when store shelves are depleted of everyday essentials.

As a society, we’re all in this together and that begs the question: What role do businesses play when disaster strikes on a grand scale? Here are a few ways that companies in important industries can act responsibly during international emergencies like COVID-19.

Focus on supply chain disruption

As anyone who has ever worked in the manufacturing industry can attest, a good or service is only as reliable as the weakest link in the supply chain. But that principle trickles down to other industries, including field service management, when times get really tough. For instance, a lawn maintenance company might rely heavily on a certain type of fertilizer. If tragedy strikes and production or transportation of fertilizer is paused, the impact of that delay will certainly be felt.

Related: Get Field Techs to an Emergency Quickly

Contingency plans are the only way to “plan” an emergency. Businesses have a responsibility to continually review and assess any plans that affect the supply chain. Staying on top of logistics and repositioning inventory could be the difference between delivering goods or services, and letting customers down.

Related: Work Order Management Software in Times of Crisis

Follow expert advice when it comes to safety

When things are running smoothly, the safety of both employees and customers should be paramount. That is especially true during an international emergency like COVID-19. It provides the perfect example of the type of advice a business might receive during one of these episodes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered a litany of workplace safety recommendations including detailed instructions with best practices for cleaning. Businesses should commit to adhering to these guidelines throughout periods of uncertainty.

Related: Navigating Field Service Businesses Through COVID-19

Be financially flexible

Business can suffer significantly during emergencies, and some don’t survive. To avoid this fate, businesses in all industries should pledge to be flexible with their finances. Doing so could mean optimizing or restructuring with a top-level goal of no disruptions to service and no reductions in headcount. While this may not be feasible for all businesses, setting high benchmarks for success forces leadership to strategize in a way that makes the goals more attainable. One of the shining examples of this approach was when Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced he would forgo his salary for six months.

Display empathy and kindness

This year has been one for the books and certainly one that no one will ever forget. COVID-19 has caused the loss of life and significantly impacted our economy in many ways. Including sweeping job losses across many different industries. Businesses have to make tough decisions in times of crisis, and the unfortunate reality is that those decisions may include closing down or eliminating jobs. No matter what, empathy is key; treat affected employees and customers as thinking, feeling individuals and recognize that your (necessary) actions may cause personal distress.

Related: Servitization: A Trend Your Business Should be Following

For companies that are still operating, kindness goes a long way. Allowing leeway in areas that were heavily scrutinized in the past can actually boost employee morale. Letting them take an occasional long lunch, or leave early on a random day. These things will ultimately do more good than harm.

Even when COVID-19 does come to a close, another emergency will inevitably occur in the future. However, by banding together and prioritizing the four concepts discussed here, companies in important industries can ensure they’re doing their part and upholding their responsibilities.

For more information on how EnSight+ helps businesses prepare for anything, contact us today.

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