March 23, 2020

Companies Should Prioritize Employee Needs in the COVID-19 World

By Dave Duschene, Executive Director, Corporate Communications

We’ve never seen anything like the coronavirus pandemic. It’s unprecedented in scale, scope and impact. And many companies and brands are scrambling to “do their part” to help society cope or get through this.

That’s great! More than ever, people look for private industry to give back in just about every facet of life. But no company has unlimited resources. So, here’s how you should prioritize your approach:

  1. Prioritize your own people.

    At a baseline, you should have programming in place to ensure your employees have what they need. Both professionally and (to some degree) personally. Look at Facebook. They’re giving every employee $1,000 to support their remote work needs.

  2. Think next about your customers.

    Your customers are loyal. Find opportunities to return their loyalty and care for your customers in a time of need. Think like retailers Target, Whole Foods and Safeway, who are setting aside designated hours so older people more vulnerable to the virus can shop with less anxiety.

  3. Then, support the greater good.

    You’ve helped employees and cared for customers. Got anything left to give? Only now should you consider broader societal support. For example, consider luxury brand parent company LVMH which is converting its factories to make hand sanitizer.

One final thought:

Whether for employees, customers or society, make sure anything you do fits with who you are as a company. Be guided by your values. It makes sense for retailers to adjust their hours to accommodate those most in needs, or for perfumeries and distillers to begin producing hand sanitizer. What makes sense for you? Do that!

 

*If you have questions or are seeking counsel, email Dave at dduschene@golin.com.