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Impact of the coronavirus on your company

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Apr 20, 2020

In April 2020, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) released a series of articles on the coronavirus.

Review these articles:

How to manage Coronavirus layoffs with compassion

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the damage to the job market looks likely to be deep and long lasting. Managers are not only dealing with the stress and sadness of having to let go of a large number of their workers, many of them are also feeling underlying anxiety about their own positions. Even if laying off employees is the only way to keep the organization running, how do you handle your feelings of guilt and sadness? How should you deliver the news when you can’t meet face-to-face? What should you say to your employees who remain? And what can you do to manage fear about your own future?

To build an agile team, commit to organizational stability

To promote more effective coping, leaders need to set priorities. The top priority right now, of course, is to help people focus on what matters most: health and safety. This means leaders need to do everything they can to enable, reinforce, and perhaps tighten social-distancing measures to contain the outbreak. After that, their next priority is to determine what tasks and functions will be critical in keeping the business running. Leaders must be disciplined in identifying their top priorities and then communicating them to their teams, almost to the point of over-communicating. Because many employees around the globe are working from home, the potential for new distractions and miscommunication are ripe.

Social distancing doesn’t have to disrupt mentorship

The current pandemic has many more people teleworking and adapting business to the virtual environment. While continuing to lead direct reports and collaborate with customers remain business imperatives in the new “workplace,” don’t forget your mentees. Great mentors show up and engage with mentees in crises and uncertain times, even when that requires creativity and adaptation. There are several reasons not to let your commitments slide.

A detailed plan for getting Americans back to work

This plan may allow people to begin to return to work depending on local conditions. There wouldn’t be a set date for reopening the economy; rather, a minimum set of conditions would be specified before the economy of a given state can be reopened, and a path to reopening it once these conditions are met.

Coronavirus is putting corporate social responsibility to the test

Corporate leaders face pressure from investors and bankers to conserve cash and reduce losses, but neither investors nor bankers will go hungry. Even retirees, who have seen their savings depleted, can expect to see stocks recover as long as they don’t sell in panic. Companies write off the costs of restructuring, product failures, or acquisitions that go wrong all the time. Everyone will understand writing off losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some things that companies can do to help their employees, small suppliers, health care providers, and communities.

Are you leading through the crisis … or managing the response?

For nearly two decades, we’ve researched and observed public and private-sector executives in high-stakes, high-pressure situations. What we’ve learned is that crises are most often over-managed and under-led. The best leaders navigate rough waters deftly, saving lives, energizing organizations, and inspiring communities. This article discusses how most of the leaders fall into one or more of specific leadership traps.

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