Leading a Business During the Era of a Pandemic
By Dan Roark
Unprecedented. That is the word I would use to describe the current times. The way it impacts businesses, employees, customers, daily interactions, finances…the list goes on. So as a CEO and leader - how do you hold it all together? How do you lead from afar while keeping your employees safe, productive, engaged and make sure they feel like they are in the fold?
Interaction. Communication. Constant. As a technology company and because our team is geographically dispersed including Spokane, Boise, San Fransisco, Boston, and Europe we regularly use virtual communication platforms and applications such as Skype, Zoom, WebEx, Teams, FaceTime, Slack, Text, etc to keep our development team engaged and discuss commercial strategy and engage customers. As a leader I believe in hiring people who are professional and skilled so there is no question that they can perform working remotely, but during this pandemic, the challenge is in keeping everyone engaged, projects moving forward in sync, and making sure employees communicate with each other - not just with me.
With our customers - we are far more engaged. We pick up the phone more often in lieu of email and we schedule online group meetings. I am finding that our communication style with our customers is more live interaction, pre-pandemic of course. We have since had to make major adjustments to our communication style.
Using virtual communication tools during the pandemic has been second nature but we have added other non traditional methods of communicating such as engaging in impromptu phone calls, texts, sharing of pictures, which include personal pictures, to keep the human interaction and relationships relevant. We interact via facetime and dial in others to join the call. We foster a sense of comradery - we are all in this together. We will all come out of this together and as a strong, unified team. One that includes our customers.