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Ashok G
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COVID-19 : A STARTUP & SME kit

By | Ashok G | Professional entrepreneur in STARTUP space

Since Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread rapidly worldwide, there are hardships & difficulties around us .

Considering our Limited resources, Time & Talent in hand, sharing few best practices for the benefit of Start-up & Small Business

Response Kit (Sample & possible actions)

  • WHO guidelines says“Social distancing” is the most effective method to slow down and halt the spread of COVID-19 (https://www.who.int/southeastasia)
  • Check out & follow Country specific guidelines
  • Local Government(where your business is) guidelines around police, healthcare, commute, work and reporting

Actions: (Business owners-Leaders-Promoters)

– Close down offices immediately /close to non-essential staff and visitors

– Determine who can work from home and for who it is necessary to be at the office

– Supply hand sanitizer, wipes and other sanitization tools at entrances and key locations

– Make changes to accommodate Social distancing @ work (between team members)

– Set up technology to support remote work

– Invest in virtual communication tools such as Zoom , Skype , webex etc.

– Train/Educate teams on how to use these communication tools

– Assign & announce a primary and secondary contact person for your Teams

– Identify a person to collect team member feedback, monitor the local situation and report analysis to management team (conservative staff)

– Empower this person to make quick decisions that can save lives

– Review ideas and concerns constantly for implementation

– Establish a task force to keep track of the developments in your community and to adapt your response

– Schedule regular meetings with all team members to ensure that everyone is engaged

– Schedule check in with your task force to update your company response based on recent developments

Leadership Imperatives:

– Anticipate a loss in productivity from your team members due to the stressful situation and be sensitive to this fact

– Invest time into building team morale and support

– Expect higher levels of stress and anxiety among team, as well as feelings of isolation from working remotely

– Check in with team members daily to ensure that everyone is managing stress by offering support where needed

– Consider ways to preserve capital and continue operations

– Examine effects of lost productivity due to remote working, lost revenues due to business lowdown and delayed supply chains

– Project a difficult economic climate for operations and financing that will last 90 days or more, depending on the strength of the local response.

– Conserve necessary operating capital to operate through the period and recovery, plan business pivots to preserve necessary capital.

Communication Kit to include:

– Decisions on offices & facilities working / closed / Travel / Response Contact

– Guidelines for teams working in office

– Local Travelling guidelines

– Health Guidelines (Washing hands — Masks — Touching face/mouth/eyes — Namasthe — Social distance of 6 feet between co-workers — If unwell, record temperature & report , Leave immediately

– Working Remotely

Work Guidelines: We are taking this unusual time as an opportunity to experiment with new ways of working

– Meetings — We will replace all in-person meetings with (Zoom/Skype/uberconference/webex)

– Collaboration — We will be using (WhatsApp/Email/Trello,,) to keep everyone up-to-date

Working remotely : Possible best practices to facilitate ;

– Communication — Over-communicate on what you are working on

– Tolerance — Assume best of intentions with written messaging. For meaning and tone of message , in-person interaction helps

– Availability — Advise co-workers on your schedule to take care of family members at home to care for, so that we can best adapt work at this unusual time.

– Scheduling — Divide deep work (Not to be disturbed) and shallow work (Available to colleagues) and communicate to your colleagues

Travel Instructions: To Postpone or cancel work-related travel. If you must travel, take necessary precautions recommended by health authorities to prevent being infected by COVID-19.

Sickness and Absences: If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, particularly a fever and cough, if you have been to an area with an outbreak or if you have been in close contact with an infected person, please let the Response Contact know and contact the health authorities for further advice.

Sick Leaves : To inform ,how it will be treated & procedure of the same

Staying Safe : Please be aware of your role in our community to help stop the spread

Contact : Avoid physical contact, such as handshakes and kissing.

Hygiene :Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose.

Events : Avoid events with 4 people or more and stay 6 feet away from others at events.

Coughing : Cover your mouth when coughing, ideally with disposable paper.

Mental Well-being as per World Health Organization’s guidelines :

Anxiety -If you are feeling anxiety, avoid watching, reading or listening to news that may increase your distress.

Stress-If you are feeling stressed, take a break and do something relaxing, such as reading a book or talk to family or household work or movie

Empathy-If you upset, be empathetic to the others around you that may also have higher levels of anxiety and stress.

LanguageBe careful in the language that you use “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID-19”, and “people who are recovering from COVID-19.”

Conclusion: These are Uncertain times , 1st time ever for this generation , hence showing empathy & constant communication from CEO/Founder can help

Resources:

  • Govt. of India guidelines
  • State Government Guidelines
  • WHO Guidelines
  • Our client Interactions
  • Best Practices in Corporates
  • Founder Institute’s detailed shares

Virtual Communication Tools: Few in market which you can use –

Republished with permission of Ashok G, Originally published in https://medium.com/ and his LinkedIn Profile.

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