Arizona businesses were forced to shift strategies earlier this year when the coronavirus pandemic hit. We adapted the ways in which we live and work; and many of these changes in priorities will remain forever.
Below are some of the valuable lessons this pandemic has taught the business world that will continue serve as opportunities for growth and transformation.
1. Crisis management. The pandemic has reminded us that crisis can come unexpectedly in any form. If your company did not have any type of crisis plan in place prior, a greater focus should be placed on creating a plan that identifies future threats and how to respond.
2. Importance of wellness. Mental and physical health is often an afterthought in the workplace. A new standard has been set for how companies support their employees’ health in and out of the office.
3. Technology. Tech has played a crucial role in shifting almost an entire workforce to remote work in a short time. Investing in the proper technology to keep your business running virtually, such as laptops and reliable internet service, ensures business operations can keep running through any scenario. Cox Business consultants have been busy helping businesses provide business level speeds for their employees working from home.
4. Empathy. There is heightened empathy for employees working to balance personal and professional obligations during this time. The compassion being shown to one another and overall unity creates a new way of working together. Here at Cox we recently provided our employees with a one-time payment of funds that can be applied to help their at-home work environment, such as paying for childcare, purchasing desk equipment, and more.
5. Flexibility. With this ever-changing environment, flexibility is important for any company. Some companies have found that a strict “9 to 5” schedule isn’t necessary for some positions, especially those with children learning from home.
6. Priorities. The pandemic has shined a light on where a company’s priorities should ultimately lie—with its employees, customers and community. Listening to and supporting employees and those deeply affected by the pandemic has taken priority over moving the needle, and it shows which companies truly care.
responsibility. Many families were affected by the pandemic and businesses stepped in to help support the community through donations and assistance with essential needs. At Cox, we have connected hundreds of students in Southern Arizona with much needed low-cost internet service for kids learning from home.
8. Transparency. Being transparent with employees and customers proves to be the best way to handle crisis. Clear and consistent communication is crucial to ease concerns of COVID-19 outbreaks and how they are handled by a company.
9. Reinvention. Many companies have taken the opportunity to find new ways to interact with customers online, find new market opportunities, create new products and imagine new campaigns. The pandemic has forced us out of our comfort zones and into creativity.
10. Resilience. We have seen powerful resilience in the local community during these unprecedented times. Companies, organizations and volunteers have banded together to keep Tucson strong. This collaboration serves as a lesson on how to all be better partners for the greater good of our community.
Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications. Cox contributes more than $106.9 million to Southern Arizona’s economy every day, and generates more than $11.2 million in annual tax revenues for state & local governments. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.