As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its progress around the globe without any visible signs of slowing down anytime soon, organizations and companies worldwide are readjusting themselves to the new normal where social distancing and remote working have taken precedence. In times like these, leaders of businesses and organizations are called upon to respond accordingly to the crisis and act decisively to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their workers and employees. This is even more true of startup leaders, whose organizations and businesses usually do not have the necessary resources that match those of established companies to see them through the crisis without significant impact. Startup leaders who dither or adopt a wait-and-see attitude, hoping that the pandemic will pass them by, risk the wellbeing of not just their companies, but also the health of their employees. It is imperative that startup leaders prepare themselves and their workers to face the challenges of surviving through this unprecedented crisis. Here are some ways to go about it.
First, it goes without saying that startup leaders should put the health of their employees and workers first and foremost over any other business considerations. This means that the wellbeing of their people is prioritized over the health of the startup. Startups can be reformed anew after the crisis is over, but people’s lives cannot. Social distancing measures should be adopted and stringently followed to ensure that the safety and health of employees are well protected. People should be allowed to work remotely from home if they are able to do so. Employees and workers should constantly be kept updated to make sure that everyone is doing well, and video conferencing is a good way of doing that, especially if the startup operates with a small team.
In times of crisis like this, any previous planning and strategizing about budgetary concerns and daily run-of-the-mill business operations should be cast aside. Right now the global economy is facing an uncertain future and no amount of forecasting is going to be of any use in unchartered waters. Startup leaders should realize that trying to meet existing deadlines or budgets is going to be a futile effort when throughout the world the economy and global supply chain is disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, leaders who still stubbornly insist on holding teams and individuals accountable to any existing project deadlines or budgets risk having their reputation and abilities called into question as a result.
During these extraordinary times, startup leaders should focus on the immediate survival of their startups as opposed to any long term planning or strategizing which rely on the capability to forecast the future with any degree of stability and confidence. Nevertheless, this does not mean that leaders should abandon all semblance of planning and goal-setting. It is still feasible to aim at fulfilling general goals and objectives even though the ability to strategize and plan ahead is extremely restricted during the crisis. In fact, companies and startups that manage to come out from this crisis with relatively healthy balances and their organizational structure intact are likely to go on and conquer their markets.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, startup leaders should focus on the immediate health and wellbeing of their workers and employees, and accept the fact that things are not going to be the same for the near foreseeable future. The more prepared and ready they are, the better their startups will be in navigating through the pandemic safely.