Can you believe it’s been a whole year since the world reported the first case of Covid-19/coronavirus? It’s been 6 months since the UK went into a lockdown and as cases begin to see a second uprise, it’s important for businesses to learn from the first lockdown. From supporting your own employees to extreme preparation, here are a few aspects to think about in regards to your own company.
Sense of community
As people flocked to work from their homes in March, there was an obvious decrease in our moods and sense of community. According to a survey of UK adults which took place during lockdown (April), one in four (24%) said they had feelings of loneliness in the “previous two weeks”. Employment circumstances can play a huge part in our moods, especially if you have lost your job and are experiencing difficult financial circumstances.
There are plenty of ways to improve a sense of community within your own workplace. You may already have weekly or bi-weekly meeting schedules. However, making these more than just work-related, but rather a friendly catch-up with employees and building trust with each other will make everyone feel more contented within the workplace. This is more important now than ever.
Expect the unexpected
Even when the spread of Covid-19 rose within China back in December 2019, the spread to the UK and the rest of the world took us all by surprise and no one was even near ready for what took place this year. This has not only taught businesses to be more prepared for unexpected events but that it’s also important to keep up with the times and adapt to the new world.
As mentioned in our previous blog, Primark took the pandemic hard with no income for a whole month after being forced to close. Even without the Covid-19 crisis, everything is moving online and digital so it’s vital to keep up with the ever-changing world.
With cases on the rise again, it should be worth considering that prioritising the health of both your employees and customers is the number one priority within your business operations. For example, reduced opening hours, a one-way system, access to hand sanitiser and mandatory mask-wearing should be enforced within your store.
Look after your employees
Covid-19 has shown the true colours of some businesses this year with immediate dismissals like Weatherspoon’s, other businesses exploiting the furlough scheme and companies who aren’t even protecting their employees within the workplace. When a popular pub chain, Weatherspoon’s, abandoned their 43,000 staff back in March with no indication of payment, they received a huge backlash and disapproval from the public.
Negative press like this can have a huge impact on your brand image. In this day and age, people are becoming more and more conscious of what kind of businesses they buy from. Therefore, it’s important to consider the implications of your actions, particularly if you’re a well-known business with the press.
However, even companies with no media attention have been getting into big trouble with other issues regarding furlough. Roughly 800 people reported their employers to HM Revenue and Customs alleging they are fraudulently claiming money from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Not only can issues like this be bad with the press, but can be damaging to your brand’s reputation.
Engage with your audience
As we mentioned earlier, a sense of community is so important during these difficult times. Similarly, it’s also crucial to keep your audience engaged and updated to retain them whatever the nature of your business. Particularly right now, many people will not be in the same financial circumstances as they were before the pandemic.
With people’s minds occupied with other conundrums in their life, they’re likely to forget your brand and not feel the need for your products/ services if they’re not essential. Therefore, consider why your customer should still want your brand during these unprecedented circumstances. For example, a makeup and skincare company would start to advertise their goods as ‘post-lockdown treats’ or a clothing store may push their loungewear items and advertise them as ‘lockdown outfits’ or ‘stay-at-home outfits’.
How Snob Monkey can help you…
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