How to Be Useful During a Pandemic: The E&C Pulse - March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020 Ben DiPietro

March 18, 2020

How to Be Useful During a Pandemic

People admittedly are confused about how to proceed with their daily lives at a time when so many people are concerned for the health of themselves and their loved ones, when lives are being disrupted, and many businesses are being shuttered, or are sputtering.

 

Some people are wondering what to do, whether to proceed with business at a time when so many don’t want to conduct business. Others are wondering what’s the point, as so many people still appear not to be following social distancing protocols, further putting themselves and society at danger, and further delaying recovery.

 

My advice? Ask how you can help.

 

From a business perspective, that means reaching out to partners and prospects to ask how they are doing, what they are dealing with, and how can you and your company can be of assistance. 

 

Some of those folks may have the green light to do business, and will welcome the idea of talking products, prices, and other deal-related details. Others may ask for time to deal with their internal situations, or until they get an all-clear from their leadership and board. Some may be confused; your job for them is to be there, and listen.

 

It’s important to understand everyone is going to have different feelings and opinions, so be available to help everyone wherever they may be along the spectrum of reactions to what’s happening.

 

When it comes to employees, companies need to reach out to see how people are feeling, as emotions, fears, and misinformation could result in bad decisions being made. Businesses also must weigh the balances of having employees work from home, with how much technology they are going to deploy to keep tabs on their workers.

 

Questions of personal liberty, privacy, and human rights are going to become more prevalent both during this time of combating COVID-19, and in the way we live after this pandemic subsides.

 

From an employee perspective, it’s about staying connected to colleagues, clients, and vendors, while trying to adjust to working from home, while possibly also home-schooling children, or caring for elderly relatives.

 

It’s about staying informed, and sharing legitimate information with friends and coworkers. Its about being human, being vulnerable, asking for help if you need it, and offering to help those that seem to be struggling.

 

From a community perspective, it means giving back, as companies and as individuals. See if elderly people around you need food, or something else from the store. Maybe organize your coworkers to run errands for people at elderly care facilities, or offer assistance to organizations such as Meals on Wheels.

 

It means supporting small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat, tipping well to people providing delivery and other services. It can be as simple as raising money within the company to order a couple dozen pizzas to send to local hospitals, with a note of thanks and gratitude for their service, or donating masks and other needed supplies. Local food banks and blood banks are in need, and don’t forget the usual charities that still require support. 

 

Moral leadership means doing the next right thing, and right now that requires people to help each other get through this unprecedented and uncertain situation, to be there for each other as we work to adjust our lives to these new realities. 

 

                                                                                                            BEN DIPIETRO
                                                                                                       @BENDIPIETRO1
                                                                                       BEN.DIPIETRO@LRN.COM


THE ELEVEN

With so many employees working from home, employers may be tempted to use technology to keep track of how much everyone is working. Should they? Adam Janofsky examines the question in Protocol.

 

LRN's Yoab Bitran writes on the Compliance and Ethics blog about how multinationals can help Latin American companies on their E&C journeys.

 

The world of normal that existed before COVID-19 is gone forever, Gordon Lichfield writes in MIT Technology Review. Politico weighs in on how coronavirus will permanently change the world.

 

Boards are planning for long-term repercussions from COVID-19, WSJ reports.

 

HBR asks if your code of conduct is sending the right message. Kellogg Insight wonders if your code is encouraging misconduct.

 

Crisis management expert Davia Temin shares eight best practices in a pandemic.

 

U.K. enforcement authorities weigh in on COVID-19. Alison Taylor and Raj Thamotheram write about investing in an age of pandemics.

 

Kristy Grant-Hart writes about being a leader in a time of crisis. Mike Robbins writes in Forbes about leading in the midst of uncertainty. Also in Forbes: leadership in the time of COVID-19.

 

Opportunists will take advantage of pandemic uncertainty to engage in corruption, Jodi Vittori writes for the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.

 

COVID-19 is putting business continuity plans to the test, CIO reports.

 

KPMG shares tips on how to manage supply chain disruptions.

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