In the last 2 days, I have unexpectedly lost my dad and had my family holiday cancelled. For those who know me, family and travel are my passions! Like many others, we’ve also had to execute some changes within the business to ensure we navigate our way through this tough situation! I’ve had better weeks for sure.
However, I am not a dweller. I have a great support network and have a pragmatic mindset. I am confident in a few months time, we’ll all be sharing stories of how we got through it.
The reason I wanted to do a post is to echo some of the things I’ve been sharing over the last few months, that I believe are more relevant now than ever before.
The first one is helping people. There has never been a better time to stand up and help others – clients, suppliers, partners, friends and strangers. LinkedIn is a phenomenal place to share, post and help. I have seen a lot of great advice, tips and signposts for support and help. I have also seen those who are in real trouble see some green shoots of opportunity. We all need to keep an eye out for others, even though we have our own shi7 to deal with.
The second one is transparency. We had to make some internal decisions about some temporary measures within the business to be as lean as possible and not to take on unnecessary costs or risks. We laid out the situation to the team and the response has been brilliant. There has been nothing drastic, but enough to be thought provoking. My view is that the reason the team responded so well is that we have been transparent since we started the business. They know we are telling them the facts, the logic and the reasoning.
Most of us employ adults, but I see so many companies treat their teams like kids. You can’t be a bit pregnant, and if you are, they’ll plug the gaps themselves. Now is not the time for people guessing. In my opinion, people forgive honest mistakes on business decisions (and I am sure many will happen in the coming weeks/months), but they’ll never forgive lies and deceit. I encourage you all to be open with your teams – they’ll probably have 10 better ideas to solve the problem than you do!
The last one is trust. Its very closely linked to the previous one, but I think its worth lifting out. We have enabled and enforced (with our clients’ blessing and support) all our teams to work from home. We have had this in planning for many weeks now. We trust them, so we know they won’t let us down.
Now is the time to trust your teams. The ones who shirk are probably shirking anyway. The ones who you want in your business in your recovery are the ones who’ll make it work – better than any of you will ever realise. I know for some businesses this poses a real challenge and I don’t envy that one, but I hope you get the support and guidance you need.
The last point on trust is that it is two way. By entrusting the team, you get reciprocated trust back (maybe I am idealistic, but I prefer to be positive). The lessons learnt from this saga should be a catalyst for all business to build on the foundation of trust going forward with their teams.
We need to focus on what we can get from this situation, not what we can’t get. There are many opportunities that will arise to be a better human race, a better business community and a better person. We should seize it.
If anything, I hope this post makes you smile, reflect on the good things you are doing and appreciate your families even more.
Stephen Johnson, Co-Founder and Director of ROQ