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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Big PictureCEO Spotlight

CEO Spotlight: Rusty Tweed gives advice to CEOs: Coping during uncertain times

Rusty Tweed Shares What CEOs Can Do During These Uncertain Times to Protect Their Interests and Employees.

Today’s uncertain economic environment has made taking care of employees and businesses extremely challenging. Many businesses such as those in retail and foodservice have been forced to close, and even companies that were able to move most of their employees to remote worker situations are struggling.

Rusty Tweed understands that CEOs have to make difficult decisions in these turbulent times. Here are 9 steps that CEOs can take in order to protect their interests and their employees.

  1. Follow All Government Guidelines
    Perhaps the most important step that businesses can take to protect their employees is to follow all recommendations from the CDC and state health departments. These regulations are put into place not to punish businesses, but to ensure a healthier population in the presence of COVID-19.
    For example, many types of businesses had to close down in the spring of 2020 but were later allowed to reopen under stringent guidelines. To aid in flexibility, many businesses began to offer takeout and curbside pickup as well as delivery services. This means that customers had fewer reasons to leave their homes and lessened their possible exposure to the virus.
  2. Encourage Employee Flexibility
    Employees have many pressing demands on their time. Many employees are providing childcare since their children are normally in school. Employees need the flexibility to deal with their children’s remote learning and to cope with the loss of babysitters and daycare centers.
    CEOs are encouraged to think long-term about their employees’ activities, since closures may stay in force for some time to come.
  3. Reduce Travel and Meetings
    Another way in which CEOs can make life safer for their employees is by reducing travel and meetings. Many companies have directly canceled all travel through the end of December 2020. Also, in-person meetings are discouraged except in essential industries. It is better to use video chat and conference calls instead of setting up large in-person gatherings. In-person business gatherings led to some of the earliest “super spreader” events tied to the pandemic.
  4. Communicate with Customers
    When customers understand what companies are going through in order to serve them, they are more likely to appreciate their efforts. Customers have empathy for brands that are facing a crisis as long as there is proper communication.
    When customers are separated from the work being done behind the scenes for them, they are less likely to appreciate the service and may undervalue it. Be upfront with the community about the steps you are taking to mitigate risk and give insight into the procedures you are following to help the community.
  5. Cleanliness and Disinfection
    First, businesses should make rules against hugs and handshakes. Everyone needs to wash their hands upon arrival and every time they enter the workplace, as well as frequently washing hands throughout the day.
    Employees should be mandated to wear masks to reduce the spread of the pandemic. People should be told not to touch their faces or their masks. They may be removed while eating or drinking.
    All businesses need to step up their cleaning regimens. Handrails, doorknobs, POS systems, desks, tables, bathrooms, and kitchens need to be kept as clean as possible. Many companies will need to hire extra cleaners as part of their workforce. Other companies are investing in disinfectant foggers and sprays to cover a large amount of space in a short period of time.
  6. Protecting Your Interests as a CEO
    You may be dealing with a lack of sales and productivity in the workplace, and you may also be dealing with personal losses of money that were in the stock market. Many businesses are not going to survive the pandemic, but there are things you can do to increase the chances that your business will make it through.
  7. Look at Your Cash Burn Rate
    You will need to look at how your business is spending money and find out which expenses are avoidable. You may not need to spend as much on marketing, the size of your company, rent, and other inefficient expenses. Consider where your burn rate can be optimized. If you take care of your cash flow carefully, you will have more profits left over.
  8. Adapt to Current Market Trends
    The current trends in the market may be difficult to predict and understand, but you may be able to get them to work to your advantage. Taking the time to understand the current business landscape can help you optimize your business’s position.
    Adapting to a remote model has worked out very well for many companies. Some brands have been repositioned to reflect the needs of customers in this economy.
  9. Learn from the Competition
    Some businesses are having more difficulties than others. Look at how the surviving businesses are handling the pandemic and discover how they are taking different steps. You will want to apply these lessons in your own work.

Adjusting Your Strategy: While the current unstable market conditions are stressful, it is necessary to learn to roll with the punches. The problem is not going away for the foreseeable future, and if you want your business to survive, you will need to be creative. Rusty Tweed encourages all businesses to do their research in these troubled times and find out what they can do to protect their investments.


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Sophie Wade
Sophie Wade, author of EMBRACING PROGRESS Next Steps For The Future Of Work, is the founder of Flexcel Network. Wade is an authority on the wide-ranging Future-of-Work issues impacting companies – such as attracting, engaging and retaining talent, workplace flexibility, Millennial demands, purposed-driven culture, new latticed and diversified career paradigms and more.