Right now, the leaders of the world are facing one of the toughest moral decisions ever, should they end quarantine to keep the economy from falling even further at the risk of a more wide-spread deadly infection?
Lives or Livelihood is the debate and I am so grateful not to be the one in the hot seat. Instead, I wanted to focus this article on the good things that can come for business out of a time of struggle. In summary, I would like to point out a few lights in the darkness right now for the professional world.
Let’s start with layoffs and unemployment. Layoffs are horrible, my company actually had to lay off nearly half of their workforce during this pandemic, but as I speak to my friends who were let go from my company, they all have had time to reflect on what parts of their jobs they really enjoyed and what they want to do next. Sometimes we fall into a routine and become comfortable in our career and it can keep us from advancing or pivoting in our career toward something we would have more passion for. To those who have lost your job, I am so sorry, but I hope you find something that propels you even further than the path you were on prior to COVID-19. For businesses, this means there is a pool of tremendously talented individuals ready to be snatched up!
An increased focus on customer satisfaction. As consumers, I think we have all seen some awesome companies step up and offer relief and expand their services to meet our current needs. Though the discounts, credits and relief may come to an end, the expanded services likely will not. People will continue to rely on teladoc, food delivery, grocery pickup, and so much more because CoronaVirus exposed how convenient these services are. Companies who step up their customer satisfaction game during this pandemic can likely reap the benefits of higher gross and net retention in the future.
Improvements in operational efficiency. When resources are scarce it seems to become clear what things are truly important and valuable. Specifically, as businesses have reduced labor their employees have less time and more responsibilities. Within a few months, employees will have sorted through the noise and built themselves a more efficient work routine. They will push off the things that can wait, they won’t schedule redundant meetings and they will find ways to automate pieces of their workloads. Boom, operational efficiency boosted.
Tightened cash management practices. It is clear to employees right now that every dollar matters. Companies are looking at their list of softwares they have subscribed to and their typical travel spend and thinking “we cannot continue to operate like this”, yes that is a sad story but as we tighten our expense habits now, employees will become more away from the impact of waste. I bet you a cook at a restaurant will be much more likely to approach a manager and say “hey boss, we are throwing away a lot of chicken each week” now that everyone’s cash radars have been turned on than they were before the pandemic.
Lastly, and this is my absolute favorite light in all this darkness, new business will bud from this recession. People who have lost their jobs will consider pursuing their own ventures. People being quarantined has given them extra time to think and invent new ideas. Right after a recession there is not immediately prosperity, but rather, a time where the economy rebounds THIS is a time of OPPORTUNITY.