Before I get into this… It’s important that we understand 1 thing: Our lives, our health, and the future of Small Businesses in America is far more important than the events that have been impacted by COVID-19.
I will leave the issues of health, social separation, and economic relief to the experts in those fields. Things I can offer some insight into are event-planning and communications.
We do a lot of event planning. So we figure it’s helpful to offer some insight into how to handle your events in these uncertain times.
COVID-19 has led to some drastic measures, and many events have been either canceled or postponed. Some of these events are critical for raising funds for operating budgets.
For these events, it’s important that you take the right steps during and after the decision to cancel/postpone. Here are a few things to consider:
The decision-making process
For social events, the decision is easy – cancel or postpone. Buy for events that make up a large portion of operating funds, it’s much harder. Your consideration needs to weigh who will be impacted, and to what extent. Can you still operate without these funds? Will your supporters attend if the event is at a different time? What other events will you compete with if you postpone to a different date? Can you even consider holding the event (government forced closures are growing every day)?
Remember to put yourself in your patron’s mindset. What will they think if you hold the event? Will your cause still be relevant after the crisis is over?
Something else you may want to consider is a modified event where social distancing and use of web/digital solutions replace the normal “gathering” type of event.
Either way – put your supporters first, and the decision will become clear.
Communicate with Stake Holders
Who are the main players for your event? Sponsors, venue, caterers, entertainers, etc… all play a key role. Communicate with them early and often. Get their feedback and ideas. If you are moving your event – find a new date ASAP and make sure all the players can make that happen. You want to postpone the event, not plan it all over again.
Also, make sure to negotiate down or try to eliminate cancellation fees. Most people are willing to work with you given the current situation.
Take the time to reconfirm your sponsors and ensure they are comfortable with your decision. They will appreciate the honesty. Maybe even consider adding additional value to their sponsorship. Without them, the event isn’t possible, no matter when you hold it.
Communicate with your guests & supporters
Don’t assume they know. They have a lot of things on their mind so it’s important that you are clear and concise. If you communicate early and often, you stay top of mind, assuring that your postponed event will have the same support later in the year.
You need to use several communication methods. Email is good, but consider adding social media and direct phone calls as well. You can never over-communicate, but the moment you realize that you didn’t communicate enough, it’s too late.
Update all of your event details on your website, social media, and ticketing services. This is critical – because if you forget, then people will be reading contradictory information, and that’s a bad look.
Create a responsible refund policy
None of this is ideal. You will have guests that simply can’t attend your event. You will need to have a refund policy, and you need to communicate it clearly. Outline the details of how refunds will be handled. Don’t specifically offer a refund, but make it clear how someone can request and receive one.
Be ready for feedback
Some people may not like your decision, and some will love it. Be ready for a back and forth with all of these people. Social media is a great platform for open communication. Use it to your benefit. By giving people the ability to speak with you, it creates an atmosphere of inclusion, and that breeds long-term loyalty.
So – in short, consider your partners and your patrons, and communicate clearly and often. It sounds simple, but needs some serious attention. If you need help, RyCOM is offering FREE PR Consulting while the COVID-19 Crisis remains an issue. Hit us up.
Effectively training your employees is essential for long-term success, the potential for growth and healthy workplace culture and environment. When employees are trained well, they are less likely to find themselves confused or discouraged. When you know how your business can implement more effective training, it is much easier to ensure all of your employees remain productive and successful.
Take Your Time
When training a new employee, it is important to take your time. Avoid becoming pushy or impatient, especially if your new employee is learning new software or is unfamiliar with your industry. Taking your time throughout training sessions can help new employees to feel more comfortable and more open to learning about new tasks, programs and responsibilities.
While you are in the process of training a new employee, ask them what they need you to do to help guide them along the process. Developing a positive and comfortable relationship with employees during training is essential for employee retention and long-term success in maximizing output and productivity.
Implementing smart coaching strategies is another way to help expedite the process of training employees without reducing the overall quality of the training that you provide. Smart coaching strategies vary by industry and by the preferred style of teaching. Spend time researching different smart coaching methods to determine which strategies and solutions are most fitting for your employees and the type of work you do each day. The GROW model is somewhat popular in business circles as it is straightforward and easy for just about anyone to implement into their own business structure. The acronym stands for “Goal, Reality, Options, and Way Forward.”
Remaining flexible as an employer is important in today’s workforce, especially if you hire a variety of age groups and individuals from various backgrounds and cultures. When you are flexible with your training tools and styles, new employees are more likely to feel comfortable and at ease, equipping them to work more productively and to begin working independently sooner. Allowing employees to work in their preferred style can also contribute to better production rates.
Knowing how your business can have more effective training is essential whether you are looking for new ways to scale or you simply want to improve your current ROI. With a healthy workplace culture and the proper training methods, your employees can quickly improve their skills and abilities, ultimately helping to boost your company’s performance overall.
As a business owner, every decision you make has an impact on your success. Your office space is no different. A comfortable workplace promotes creativity and productivity. When your employees are happy at work, they will be more willing to go the extra mile for your business.
Make It Personal
Adding personal items to their work areas gives your employees a sense of ownership. Family photos, posters, or a few knickknacks keep them connected to the outside world as they work. Periodically focusing on these items can provide a moment of stress relief during a busy day. Personal items remind employees of the reasons they are working.
Give Some Space
The need for personal space varies by individual. However, no one likes to feel cramped when they go to work. Be certain that every employee has enough space to spread out their work materials without getting into another employee’s way. It is also good to have common spaces that are uncrowded and open to natural light. Some workplaces have designated areas that are meant to inspire creativity.
Treat Furniture as an Investment
Many business owners choose inexpensive furnishings for their employees as a way to keep down the bottom line. This will backfire if furniture breaks easily or is simply uncomfortable. Chairs that do not offer adequate support can lead to back problems, lowered productivity and absences. In order to provide the right atmosphere, you also want your furniture to look good. Matching furniture provides a sense of order to your workplace. For color scheme you should know that wooden furniture is made from select kinds of wood, and while they can be stained, the color doesn’t change as much as you think.
Keep It Green
Plants have a calming effect on people. Many individuals feel more relaxed when they have a connection to nature. You can encourage employees to bring small plants for their work areas. It is also a good idea to have different kinds of plants scattered throughout the workplace. Keep in mind that some people are sensitive to smells, so you may want to refrain from fragrant, flowering plants. Another way to give a natural connection is to have windows that look out on some kind of beautiful scenery. Not only will this let in some natural light, but it will also give your employees an opportunity to have a moment of natural connection when they take a break. If you have an employee with a green thumb, you might put that person in charge of creating a beautiful outdoor garden.
Maintain a Comfortable Climate
Finding a comfortable temperature is a challenge. Some people will always be too hot and others too cold. A temperature of 68 degrees satisfies the needs of most people. Using smart thermostats can help you regulate the temperature efficiently, keeping people comfortable and saving you money at the same time. These devices will make certain that the temperature is just right from the moment employees arrive until they leave. Another important consideration when it comes to temperature is how close the work areas are to vents. In the summer months, an employee whose desk is directly under a vent will have a constant breeze of cold air. He or she may frequently seek excuses to get away from the desk and find a more comfortable place to be. Try to keep your employees in zones where they will feel just right.
Provide Healthy Snacks
It is hard to be productive when you are hungry. Employees will appreciate it if you have a selection of delicious, healthy snacks available. A granola bar or a piece of fresh fruit can provide just the right boost to get through a long afternoon. Dry cereals are also a favorite for many people. If you are going to provide food, be sure to learn about any allergies that your employees may have. It is also important to offer gluten-free or dairy-free options if people are sensitive.
When you pay attention to the comfort of your employees, they will know that you care about their needs. In workplaces where employees feel noticed, there are fewer problems with getting to work late and absences. Employees are also less prone to looking for a new job. A comfortable office can be a key ingredient to a successful business.
Here’s another article you might like: What You as a Business Owner Can Do to Avoid High Turnover