Covid-19 Ready, How to Lead Your Organization Through a Pandemic Crisis

The spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has left organizations around the world scrambling to protect their businesses and the welfare of their employees.

We have seen an uptick in organizations, not associated with the healthcare industry, trying to understand what their roles and responsibilities are in this type of crisis, and how best to communicate them to their audiences. Issues including:

• Policies for protecting employees;
• Changes to service delivery and customer services;
• Preventing and addressing stigma;
• Disruption in supply chain management; and
• Preparing for all of the unknowns that come with pandemics

As with any issue or crisis management scenario, the biggest risks are continuity of business, protecting staff, and what recovery looks like.

The fact of the matter is, this crisis will change the way the world does business in the future. We will all need to look for ways to build resiliency into our organizations for the next time this happens. Remember: It’s never a matter of if, it’s always a matter of when

These events will continue to happen in the future, and whether you’re prepared for this crisis or scrambling to get ahead of it, I have three immediate actions you can take while you’re getting ready:

• Refer to official health agencies ONLY for health-related directives
Exercise your crisis comms plan to identify gaps and update it accordingly, should you need to deploy it in the near future
Keep calm, and WASH YOUR HANDS – preventing the spread of fear and germs are recommended at the best of times, but especially now

The best move to make right now is to look to the future. What is the recovery going to look like, and how do you start moving in that direction? Are there new policies, procedures, protocols you need to put in place in order to facilitate this? Start asking yourself whether the vision and goals of the organization are the same. If they have shifted, then how are you adjusting your plan accordingly; likewise, if they’re the same, how do you refocus on that aim?