With 94% of the Fortune 1000 reporting Covid-19 disruptions and one-fifth of UK workers furloughed, it’s clear that Coronavirus is well and truly affecting workplaces and the wider economy. For business leaders, responding to and communicating the impacts of the virus to employees, stakeholders, clients and the wider public can be fraught with challenges, particularly for those who are inexperienced in crisis communications. There are, however, some simple strategies you can follow to help navigate your business through this time. Here is our top crisis management advice for business leaders:
Communicate quickly and clearly
During a crisis, unclear and inconsistent information can lead to people feeling unsure and demanding transparency and guidance. The influx of news, opinion and rumours around Covid-19 means many of us are experiencing information overload, but still aren’t sure what to believe and who to trust.
That presents a clear opportunity for business leaders to practice effective crisis communication. According to McKinsey, good crisis communicators do the following:
Provide a variety of information that responds to the needs of listeners, whether that’s business updates, reassurances around job safety or useful tools to support mental wellbeing.
Communicate clearly, frequently. Repeat key messages to ensure they are absorbed.
Be truthful, show vulnerability and promote transparency to help build loyalty. Sometimes you will have to deliver difficult messages, but doing so openly and with empathy will help your leadership.
Encourage resilience, accentuate positive outcomes and messages and promote communal bonds.
Help people to understand. A clear (and clearly communicated) vision or mantra on what the business is doing and what the outcomes will be can help people to see beyond the chaos and focus on the task at hand.
Reach out for support
Crisis management and communication is usually not the responsibility of just one person. While there is typically someone who leads the business through these times – usually the CEO – PwC research shows us that ownership of crises tends to be shared across functions including legal, risk and IT, with roles such as preparedness, response, communications and recovery spread across many business units. What’s more, this responsibility is often shared with external parties, with 74% of business leaders seeking help during or after their most serious crisis, according to PwC.
Consider establishing a Coronavirus crisis team within your own workforce, made up of team members from across the business to contribute to everything from making key business decisions to communicating messages, encouraging workforce socialisation and sharing helpful resources. For more tips and insights into how to handle crisis management, take a look at resources from the Institute of Internal Communication on 'Coronvirus advice for internal communicators', and PwC's 'four essential crisis management lessons'.
Plan for the future
As “real life” feels indefinitely suspended and the world’s attention seems to permanently be on Covid-19, it can be easy to develop tunnel vision and focus only on the here and now. And while business leaders should certainly be in the moment to navigate the seemingly endless questions and challenges posed by Coronavirus, it’s critical to also be looking ahead to ensure that the decisions you make now don’t have a negative impact in the future.
We don’t know what a post-Covid-19 business landscape might look like, but savvy business leaders will be factoring in enhanced technological solutions to allow for more remote working as well as looking at options for local suppliers and solutions. With billions of people living in closed-border countries - and the vast majority of workers residing in countries that have strict barriers to entry - we may see changes to everything from workforce mobilisation to supply chains. Businesses that utilise cloud systems, video interviewing software, digital conference calling programmes and other new technologies may find themselves with an advantage as we ease back into some sense of normality.
Staffing during and after the Covid-19 crisis should be a major part of any business leaders’ strategy. Many businesses are now being faced with cost-cutting exercises that are leading to furlough and redundancies, which can help struggling businesses stay afloat to continue operations post-Covid-19. Any long-term crisis management strategy should include detail on building your workforce back up, whether that’s through bringing employees back off furlough, taking on contract workers or hiring new employees to add value as you build your business back up. Whichever your strategy, a specialist recruitment agency like Marks Sattin can help you to achieve this objective.
At Marks Sattin, we’re working hard to ensure professionals and organisations in our key markets stay connected and have access to the best opportunities. Stay up to date with our latest news and industry insights in our blog section, or contact us to find out more about working together.
** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **HR
** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **General
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Why should we bring wellbeing into the workplace? Wellbeing is in the workplace whether we like it or not, and the healthier your workforce the better your business will perform. Businesses in the FTSE 100 who have a robust wellbeing strategy are outperforming all of the others and evidence suggests that for every £1 invested in employee wellbeing your business will generate another £3. It’s hard to understand in 2019 how some boardrooms are still seeing employee wellbeing and mental health as a ‘fluffy subject’ and not seeing the direct links between employee energy and their business results. How do you open a conversation about mental health in the workplace? The stigma of mental health is the huge ‘wall of silence’ that exists around this subject. We choose not to speak about this subject because we fear saying something wrong and making someone feel embarrassed or awkward so we choose to say nothing. We don’t know how to open up the wellbeing conversation which makes us even less likely to start what could be a lifesaving conversation. The answer is in training your people on the right language to use in such circumstances. We should never say to somebody ‘I am very worried about your mental health’. They would go into a ‘shut down’ mode and find it far too invasive. If you say you have noticed a change in their energy levels (as part of a much wider conversation) they are far more likely to tell you what is going on in their life and the impact it is having on their wellbeing. As a counsellor I am trained to ‘notice, not interpret’ as it is far less judgemental and I share this with my clients. What can we do to encourage employees to proactively enhance their own wellbeing? Employees take on average six to eight years after the initial symptoms of poor mental health to seek professional advice. This is largely because they are not aware of the early indicators combined with the powerful stigma that prevents them from being honest and open about their mental wellbeing. To encourage employees to be proactive we need to invest time and resource into the workplace to help them understand their mental wellbeing better. We need to provide them with simple tools to measure their energy levels and create cultures where people want to flourish and live a healthier way of life. What are the business risks if we fail to address these issues? Teams that operate with high energy are successful, but teams that are not healthy and energised will never get anywhere near optimising performance. It feels like I am stating the obvious but the risks are high levels of absenteeism, poor employee engagement, high staff churn, inefficiency and reduced productivity. If your culture is not focussed on employee wellbeing, you will lose more staff to long term work related stress. It is evidence based that employees who have suffered stress related illness are very difficult to get back to work and businesses are exceptionally poor at dealing with these type of wellbeing issues. How do we create the right culture of trust to create a stigma free workplace? The tone has to be set from the very top of your organisation. My clients who realise the importance of senior executives sharing how mental health has touched their own lives are seeing a tangible cultural shift. When top executives talk openly about mental health it makes it much easier for all employees to feel safe to do so. All people managers should be trained on how to create a kinder culture that drives employee energy. It is evidence based that managers will not speak to employees about wellbeing because they do not feel qualified. The great news is they don’t need to be qualified but educated on the importance of becoming more personable and how to direct employees to get appropriate professional help. David Beeney is a mental health advocate and a business advisor. David brings his personal experience of struggling with mental health problems, commercial background and business knowledge to help organisations implement mental health & wellbeing strategies within the workplace. David is committed to reducing the stigma of mental health in the workplace. The 10th edition of our highly regarded Market Insight Report represents the views of over 1,100 professionals, and contains insights from our specialist consultants and key business partners on market and employment trends. If you’re looking to find out more on salary benchmarking and the motivations driving the modern workforce today, download our full report which contains key contributions from Western Union Business Solutions, Women in Fund Finance, Intoo UK & Ireland and Seddons Solicitors.
** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **Financial Services
** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **General
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Even though it appears that the world has turned on its head right now, surprisingly we have seen an increase in the number of professionals who have decided now is the time to make a move. Why now!? … well along with all the other changes lately, candidates are experiencing a range of changes to their roles, and for some, the negatives are outweighing the positives. In order to ascertain whether a candidate is ready to move, I have look for the five P’s in my conversations. What are these five P’s I hear you say?, (or maybe not, and lockdown is getting to me already!):Payment – It’s usually the first reason I get from a person looking for a new role, but the truth of it is that although payment or feeling you are being paid fairly is important, it’s only ever part of the reason you look to change your job. There is more to life than money and being in a very well paid job that you hate will never last! With people currently working from home and saving on travel, lunches and the extortionate amount of coffee we purchase – payment is only ever part of the puzzle! I regularly speak to candidates who are being paid up to 20% below the market average salary and when I ask them about making a move and tell them the disparity, they often respond with, ‘but I’m happy in my job’. This might sound crazy to some, but another ‘p’ is priorities, and everyone’s are different! People – Now, more than ever, people’s relationships with their colleagues are being tested. But not how you might think - I have spoken to professionals who are no longer searching for their new role to escape interpersonal challenges at the office, because rather than sitting beside someone for eight hours a day, it’s now virtual meetings a couple of times a week! Similarly, I have other candidates who were staying in roles just because they had very strong relationships with their colleagues, and that was the most positive aspect of their working day. Plateau – Growth is important and feeling like you are learning and growing year on year is an integral part of your career happiness. However, if this doesn’t go hand in hand with at least some of my other ‘P’s’, it’s unlikely that you will see a professional leave when they have hit the glass ceiling in a company they love working for. Often these candidates will actively seek out other opportunities for growth within their organisation. Sometimes candidates will give lack of progression as the reason when in fact they are unhappy with other aspects of their role. Place – Location and commuting are less relevant at the moment than ever before. Having to battle the traffic on the stairs in the morning is the most many of us have been doing recently. However, one consideration under this point at the moment is - has your employer made your ‘place’ any better for you? I spoke to a candidate recently and part of their reason for wanting to make a move was because their company did not provide them with a monitor to work from home comfortably. A monitor is a relatively small thing, but it helped the employee to work more efficiently. This was the last straw for them and gave them the drive they needed to look for a new role. I have also spoken to candidates who have praised their companies for sending a desk, supplies, treats and anything to make their working from home life better. These acts of kindness by employers are earning loyalty points with employees. " Praise – People who feel appreciated by their colleagues and managers for the work they do generally work harder to continue this circle of praise. It’s human nature to seek positive reinforcement that we are good at our job and really appreciated for the work we do.So what can we take from this? That you can be well paid and feel you are developing within a company, and still be motivated to move. Similarly we can have great work colleagues and feel valued in our role, and still seek something more in our careers. However, in my opinion and experience, if your job ticks most of the P’s then are you really looking for a new job, or just testing the waters?I think we will see an even bigger focus on being content at work going forward, because although our work life balance might be a bit better these days, our job is still a big part of our lives. I would be very interested to hear if you think there are other strong motivators that drive professionals to leave, or stay in a role?
** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **General
** DEFAULT postresults.contenttypelabel - en-GB **Career Advice
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Your CV is usually the first impression that a potential employer will have of you and your ability to do the job. Therefore, it is extremely important that your CV presents the strongest and most relevant information. It's essential for you to get across the key points in a concise and clear manner, as you often have less than five seconds to grab the reader’s attention.Be honestExaggerating your responsibilities or achievements is not recommended and could greatly impact your future chances of securing a role. Never falsify dates or jobs to hide periods of unemployment, as a basic check could expose any of these hidden areas. Leaving you exposed to more questions which may ruin your chance of landing the job. Be honest, open and explain any gaps. Back it up and support the claims you make regarding responsibilities and key achievements with facts and comparative data wherever possible.StructurePersonal details: name, address, mobile, email, visa status (if applicable). Qualifications: professional and formal, education. Include any Specialisations, eg. Auditor within IFRS Career highlights: short bullet point synopsis of your recent positions and achievements. Highlight anything that sells your overall strengths. Outline your work history in reverse chronological order. Where possible, include quantitative measurements of success and place an emphasis on the most relevant roles to the job you are applying for.Your work history should be detailed with experience and achievements and should include: Job titleCompany namedates employedKey experience areasOverview of responsibilities (5-10 bullet points depending on the seniority of the role - the greater the seniority, the more detail will be expected).Achievements: List any key achievements within the role, key projects you participated in, etc.Length is important, a maximum of two pages is preferable; your CV only needs to get you an interview. Use bullet points with your most recent experience at the top of the list. This will help to keep your CV concise and relevant to the role that you are applying for. Keep to the facts and don’t try to be funny. Other people’s sense of humor may be very different to your own and it can come across as rude or insulting. ReferencesWhen dealing with references, you do not need to include names of your references or ‘references upon request’ at this stage. If a recruiter asks for names, ensure you have spoken to your contacts and that they are willing and able. The more senior executive, the better.Layout Keep the language simple; avoid jargon that a recruiter or employer may not understand.Highlight achievements in bullet point style so that they are easy to read.Do not include a photo.Ensure your CV is in Word format.Use a clear typeface.Ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.Any roles over 10 years ago do not need much detail. Key things to rememberRegularly revisit your CV and update the content. Trying to remember what you did when you started your role five years ago may be difficult! Being relevant, highlight any key skills you have which are requested in the job description, these could appear on the front page as a summary. If it has been more than five years since you graduated, place your education at the bottom. If you have not finished your degree or do not have a formal qualification, explain this thoroughly. We’re aware that following your ACA qualification you will be considering the next steps in your career. The newly qualified ACA job market is competitive, so differentiating yourself is essential. Download our ACA CV guide here.