Covid-19 Business Recovery Plan
(Published 7th April 2020)
Most of us had little control over the impact Covid-19 had on our businesses, and the speed it happened.
However, throughout our lives we will have all suffered many hardships and survived them. There is also some comfort that you are not alone and the whole country needs to recover from this crisis.
The speed of your recovery will be partly dependent on how you quickly Covid-19 hit your practice and how you conducted yourself through this difficult period. As the crisis hit the openness and regularity of your communication with your team, patients, suppliers, your bank and those close to you will set the marker for how you bounce back.
To come back strong from Covid-19 requires a strategy and vision, and a good deal of grit and determination.
As a priority you need to establish your leadership and management priorities. There will be no shortage of actions to take, so you need to identify those that are critical to restoring your business to its former health.
You should engage others in this process, possibly your practice manager or partner, as this can help share the burden of the task ahead.
It’s important to acknowledge this will be a challenging time and keeping a positive mindset will be critical. Others will be looking to you for direction, support and leadership.
You will need to embrace the many challenges to come, show persistence in the face of setbacks and look for others having success to inspire you.
There could be times when it feels overwhelming and that’s when you should use your family, friends and network of contacts to help reset your thinking to push again.
The Power of a Team
Don’t underestimate the value of your team. They will be vital as you recover and engaging with them in the right way will accelerate your results. It is important to acknowledge and remember that they could also feel vulnerable, possibly having been furloughed.
Depending on individual levels of competence, and time with you in the business, you should be treating your team differently. Inexperienced members of the team will need to be given direct instructions, those more experienced you can delegate to and the elite within your practice you should be coaching with peer-to-peer problem solving.
This approach of instruction, delegation and coaching ensures your team feel safe in the way they are working and decisions they are expected to make. During this recovery period it’s important that everyone feel supported and clear about their contribution and how it’s impacting the overall effort.
Leadership & Management
Demonstrating strong leadership as you recover will bring enormous benefits – look to inspire your team, maintain a focus on what is important and hold onto your self-belief.
Importantly be yourself. Ensure you retain your integrity and congruence with who you are. Good leadership doesn’t mean emulating another strong leader you admire; it’s about being the best version of you.
Try to share experiences and lessons learned. This will stand you in good stead for the future and the speed of learning as you recover will be dramatic and under normal circumstances could take years to acquire.
The management of your business requires a different set of skills from being a leader. You need to stay close to the key metrics so you can track progress. Through the recovery period you need to know that the decisions you make, and actions taken are having the desired effect.
Where possible look to delegate, but make sure you are doing so with team members that feel comfortable with the responsibility expected of them and it’s in line with their experience and ability.
Now is a great time to remind everyone of your vision for the practice, the energy of a team with a common purpose is powerful force.
If you don’t have a vision, now is the time to create one. Without a compelling purpose, it’s hard to get people excited. Here is a simple four-step process to follow:
- Be clear about where you are going. Your vision is your destination.
- Dream big – if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!
- Have a strong purpose – this is your why and the driving force behind your purpose.
- Set strategic goals – this is your path to get to your vision (the destination).
With a clear vision in place and understood by your team you can now communicate effectively and consistently with your patients and suppliers, so they know you are making progress. It is important to remember that everyone has been affected by Covid-19 so your messages need to be sensitive as well as informative.
With your vision being your destination, you also need the stepping stones in place to get there – these are your goals. Goals provide you with the framework to track your progress and the first step to turning the invisible to visible.
From a team morale view point it is also really motivating to achieve targets on the way to full-blown recovery.
Remember to make a series of small, achievable goals, otherwise people risk being overwhelmed or are likely to become demotivated by failure to achieve.
This period will be transformational, undoubtedly thrust upon you by Covid-19, but will provide developments opportunities for you and those around you in ways you never knew possible. Empowering others will be critical as the scale of the task ahead requires good quality help. Through this process you will also build a level of trust never seen before. A well-managed recovery can be a powerful force for those that are part of it.