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RESPOND AND ACT DECISIVELY DURING CRISES

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Stage 1: Respond 

The first stage is the mode you are in right now. As a leader it is highly imperative that you respond proactively and act decisively during this phase. The ‘Respond’ stage will run up until the end of April. The following workstreams need your immediate attention during this time.

1. Plan cash flow well in order to extend your runway

As businesses are paralyzed and liquidity is challenged, it becomes extremely critical to manage cash flow between essential and non-essential payouts. It becomes imperative to extend your runway assuming a painfully slow recovery to business as usual over the next few months.

2. Develop a robust business continuity plan

Survival during and post the crisis becomes the prime focus. This includes taking some hard decisions on what will run and what needs to pause. Also take steps to ensure the physical and mental well being of employees and their productive utilization.

3. Communicate proactively with employees, customers, partners and the larger community

It is important to listen, inform, educate and motivate your key stakeholders during such times. Be empathetic. Each group will have a separate pain point that needs to be addressed proactively. Give support with an open heart and ask for help where you need it. It is an opportunity for you to strengthen your bond with them so that you can together tide over this. 

4. Draft contingent HR policies

Carefully develop HR policies pertaining to work from home, paid/unpaid leaves, medical leaves, deferred salary payouts, furloughs, salary cuts, benefits, performance appraisal, etc. keeping in mind the job security of the employees as well as the current financial health of your business.

5. Plan virtual team trainings for skill building

With every crisis comes an opportunity. Use the idle time of your employees to build their capabilities. This will pay off in terms of higher productivity when business resumes to normal state. Identify relevant training, exercises and courses for each employee group and implement it proactively, with the help of digital learning resources.

6. Leverage corporate citizenship & reputation building opportunities

Identifying efficient methods of helping government authorities and communities to respond actively to the rapidly emerging situation at hand. You can do that by using your infrastructure and capabilities to produce and deliver goods and services or simply by donating money that can help in alleviating the health and economic stress.

7. Explore situational marketing opportunities

The crisis is an opportunity to get the attention of old, existing and potential clients like never before. Speak to them and offer to help. Carefully draft your value proposition in the time of this crisis and reach out to them proactively. Don’t wait to be called

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