Model Management In Occasions Of Covid-19
Covid-19 affects almost all industries. I live in Seattle where the first case and deaths happened in the United States. Large and small companies do their best so that employees work from home, which is easy for many of us “knowledge workers”. However, it is not easy for millions of professionals to interact personally with others.
Almost immediately after Microsoft asked employees in the Pacific Northwest to work from home, they released a statement that they would continue to pay their hourly contract workers who support the huge campus of their headquarters. Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, said: “We recognize the difficulties lost work can mean for hourly employees. For this reason, we have decided that Microsoft will continue to pay all hourly service providers their regular remuneration during this period with reduced service requirements. This is regardless of whether their full services are needed. This ensures that, for example, in Puget Sound the 4,500 hourly employees who work in our facilities receive their regular wages even if their working hours are reduced. "
Other technology brands made similar announcements, probably inspired by Microsoft's sensitive approach. But not all brands have large market caps, and cash is available to support the workforce in exceptional times. In today's news, it looks like big resorts in Las Vegas are closed for at least two weeks. The cruise, aviation and tourism industries are particularly hard hit. But many popular local restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues also fire and cut or close employees. Will these smaller, independent brands be able to recover?
As mentioned earlier, many people believe that the system doesn't work for them. And since the heads of government are failing, many are looking for brands to strengthen. And with leaders like Brad Smith, they see examples that change expectations of how a modern, responsible brand behaves.
In times of Covid-19, there are three ways to demonstrate brand leadership:
1. Do your best to take care of employees, suppliers and contractors. Not everyone can be as generous as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Twitter and Salesforce. But many companies can do something. At Qantas, the CEO no longer collects his $ 23 million salary for the rest of the year. Actions like this show that people are about to win, and a crisis should put people in the spotlight.
2. Be transparent in your employee communication. Employee branding is becoming increasingly important for building a strong brand. If you do the unfortunate and need to lay off workers, you should primarily have an older person there to deliver the news. If the layoffs are temporary, make it clear that there is a way back.
3. Do you have to communicate with your customers? Since this crisis occurred, I have received more emails than I would like to receive from brands that tell me about their reaction. Some of them were needed, like retailers that I visit frequently. But some are unnecessary. I don't have to hear from my credit card company unless this has to do with a policy change that helps me during the crisis.
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