1. Take care of your own team the best you can.
First and foremost, make sure that as a business leader, you are following state and federal guidelines when it comes to COVID-19. Sanitize and disinfect your operation. Practice social distancing. If you have a business where you have the opportunity to telecommute, make sure your systems are up to par so you can continue your operations
2. Connect your team to resources.
If your business had to make unfortunate cuts, share information with local nonprofits on the kinds of needs your employees have, and share information with your employees about how and where they can find help.
3. Find ways to help keep vulnerable populations safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults and people with chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease) are at a higher risk of getting more ill from COVID-19. In response, a number of retailers have established early-morning hours after the store has been cleaned where only older adults are allowed in to shop, in hopes of keeping them safe. Businesses should follow this example, and offer specialized services, including free delivery options, to higher-risk customers.
4. Organize a virtual fundraiser or volunteer endeavor.
People need help now, and those needs are only going to grow as jobs are cut and bills mount. Businesses owners who are in the position to do so to reach out to local nonprofits and community funds and determine what their needs are, and then organize a fundraiser or food drive with your team, if the team is able and willing.
For volunteer opportunities, look for pursuits that can be done remotely, whether it’s sending digital messages to people who are quarantined in assisted living facilities, offering remote administrative help to a nonprofit, or participating in a pet-fostering program. In addition, blood banks are reporting severe shortages across the nation. Willing employees could set up a donation drive.
5. Help small businesses.
Businesses everywhere are suffering. Even as we practice social distancing, it’s important for businesses who are willing and able to keep up the same buying behaviors as before, even if in a contactless way. If you used to treat your team to lunch at the office once a week before, treat them to lunch delivered to their homes, now. Or purchase gift cards to your employees’ favorite restaurants and treat them later. If you used to purchase supplies from small businesses, continue making those purchases for pick-up or delivery, if that’s an option. Saving money because you’re not commuting to work every day? Think of a small business where you could spend those savings and make a difference
While there’s certainly no silver lining to a pandemic such as COVID-19, there are lessons to be learned about what really matters. And one thing that matters is working together. Right now, people everywhere are stressed about what’s happening and about what’s to come. It’s an opportunity for a business leaders to set an example.