COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. Everyone is scrambling trying to understand the health and safety protocols, how to get their teams ready to go back to work when the Governor turns the spigot more, how to keep their businesses alive, and so much more.
There’s a lot coming at you, so we’ve created 9 Steps to a Successful COVID-19 Recovery to help you navigate this uneven terrain. You will get through this. Your business will get through this. The industry will get through this, and we’ll do it together just like we have for every other crisis whether it was Tropical Storm Irene or the 2008 recession.
- Manage Virus Fatigue. We’re bombarded with COVID-19 information. Everyone is overwhelmed and overloaded. It’s time to draw the line on how much information we take in and share with our employees. This doesn’t mean we stop being informed. It means we become more strategic in where we get our information, how often we dial in, and how much we communicate with our employees.
- Always Have a Trusted Resource. You need 1-3 primary sources for your COVID-19 information. At AGC/VT, we’ve worked around the clock to be a trusted resource for our members and the construction community. We’re going to keep working to relay current information from the federal government, the State of Vermont, and other industry news. We give regular COVID-19 briefings, communicate via email newsletters, and we post videos and resources on website (agcvt.org). If you have questions, call us, email us, and never hesitate to reach out. We are here to be your trusted resource during this crisis.
- Ready…Aim…Adapt. As employers, we have to adapt to changes in real-time. You know how to do this. Construction is an unpredictable, uncertain industry. You just need to ratchet up how quickly you respond to the daily changes that get announced. At the same time, you need to empower your employees and trust that they will make the right decisions to do what is right and safe for themselves, their co-workers, and your business. That means ensuring they have current information and access to training so they can stay safe and keep the work flowing.
- Create Two Task Forces. Now is not the time to do everything yourself. You’ve got talented people in your business, so get them engaged in fighting this pandemic and getting your business up and running. First off, get two task forces formed aimed at the following:
- Return to Work. This will focus on what your business will need in order to return to work. Think employee training, personal protective equipment, new health and safety guidelines.
- Stabilization for Work Environment. Getting back to work won’t be enough. This virus is here to stay and your business—whether at home office or on a job site—must be ready to maintain and adjust safety and health protocols on the teams is a must.
On these task forces, aim for 3-5 people, and it should be different people for each one (as your business can allow). Task Force members should be should be well-respected members of your team, who you trust, and who you know are dedicated and committed to the company and its success.
- Deliver Regular Messages to Employees. Just as we work to be a trusted resource for you, you should be the trusted resource for your employees. Delivering regular communication messages to your team will instill confidence, trust, and solidify stronger connections. In your regular correspondence, aim to provide updates on:
- What the company is doing?
- How the company is doing?
- Where the company is going?
- Any additional information that they, or their families, need to stay healthy and safe.
Focus on separating fact from fiction, and aim on sending this message at least once a week, on the same day and at the same time every week.
This can be an email, a memo, or a newsletter. Just pick some vehicle that you will commit to writing. The message should come directly from you—the owner, CEO, president. If you don’t have time to write this every week, tap someone on staff. You can always review.
- Be Proactive. Start looking ahead at what your customers will need in 60-90 days. Look at the environment and consider what industries, locations, and types of projects will be in demand. It’s not going to be the same as it was yesterday. There will always be opportunities in construction if you’re willing to adapt, be flexible, and think solely about what your customers need for projects.
- Develop a Strategic Plan. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start planning for the next 12-18 months. I know, that’s hard to, but consider the pandemic. What industries will be at the forefront? What projects may need to be rapidly constructed, redesigned, or remodeled? Who will have money for the projects? There will be a pandemic recovery, and there likely will be a stimulus at some point in the next year. The more prepared you are now, the faster you’ll be able to adjust your plan, and potentially bid on projects. It may even be slower for you right now, so take the next 2-3 weeks and work through a strategic plan for the business.
- Stay Focused. There is so much noise, confusion, and fear out there that it’s easy to get distracted. Don’t! Stay focused on the job at hand. Get your people back to work safely, and keep them safe. Be ready to respond and meet your customers needs now, in 60-90 days, and in 6, 9, and 12 months, and make sure you’re taking care of yourself too.
- Stay Positive. This COVID-19 virus has knocked everyone around. Everyone is exhausted. Everyone is tired. Don’t let your guard down. Follow all safety and health protocols. We will survive. Your business will survive. Keep going and doing what you’re doing, and do it with a positive attitude. If you stay positive and upbeat, so will your team, and they’ll give you even more. They’ll stand by your business and do whatever it takes to make it succeed, because you’re doing whatever it takes to make it succeed, you’re taking care of them, and you’re creating a positive atmosphere in a world that is in short supply of it.
Have a question about a safety or health protocol? Need more resources? Want to sign-up for a COVID-19 training? AGC/VT has you covered. Visit our website (agcvt.org) or call us today at 802.223.2374 or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or comments.