Hello readers to the second installment of our end of years article series.
We last spoke about how 2020 was a year to forget, or was it?
We are going to discuss to the things to take away from this year, to help us be more prepared for next year.
Each of us has encountered their own slew of struggles and hardships, and they all came in different shapes and sizes.
You either had these struggles on a personal note, or as a business, so we’re going to discuss what we can take away from this past year as a business and then what to learn as an individual.
We’ll start with the business side.
Likened to the Great Depression of the 1920s, this pandemic made us witnesses to another huge economic collapse after we thought we’d never see another one so soon after the crash in 2008.
Unemployment numbers are at an all-time high as millions of jobs are lost. Certain countries were hit harder than others, depending on how stable their economy was before the pandemic, but everyone has been affected.
Also, in the wake of this crisis, many large corporations such as airlines filed for bankruptcy. Without tourism, they were bound to suffer heavy losses.
So, what are we supposed to learn from this, and try to avoid in the coming years?
1) Murphy’s Law
“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
2020 was a great example of that law. No one could have expected how bad things got… or did they?
There were studies and even Ted talks by Bill Gates that describe exactly this situation and yet no one listened and so we weren’t prepared. There were qualified personnel all around the world who warned this could happen, but no one bothered to have contingency plans to have put in place to react properly to the crisis.
Thousands of lives could have been saved had the necessary arrangements been made, and as such, millions of jobs and billions of dollars as well.
We should have taken things more seriously at first, and this pandemic should cement in our minds what happens when you don’t prepare yourself for the worst, even when you’re at your best. Rainy days are real.
2) Corporate Culture
There are differences between small to medium businesses that survived and those that didn’t. Many can be attributed to the type of business itself.
For instance, a food delivery business would naturally thrive in this environment.
However, in cases where they were in the same market, certain businesses were bound to fail compared to their counterparts.
Without a healthy corporate culture, the company could keep working as business as usual proceeds. Profits weren’t down so management didn’t care for much else. They weren’t prepared for change, and more importantly, they didn’t have strong values to depend on.
Everyone can put a “Mission Statement & Vision” paragraph on their website. It’s about if you can actually adhere to it.
In short, can you walk the walk, or do you just talk to talk?
3) Corporate Relationships
A common occurrence during the pandemic across different companies, was how management heavily depended on their employees to carry the burden.
Without cash flow, profits slashed, workers were asked to be patient and understanding. That’s a lot to ask of someone who has a family to feed, debts to repay, or students’ loans to pay off.
If you want your workers to work hard for you, you have to work harder for them. Establish a workplace where they are sincerely grateful and happy to be there, the reward is not just during the good days where all sails smoothly. You will see this repaid during hard times when they go out of their way, during their worst times, to repay your diligence and loyalty to them.
Creating healthy relationships with all your employees and your bosses, creates a suitable environment to face the challenges.
People won’t fight in the trenches with you, if they don’t think there’s something to worth fighting for beyond their livelihood.
Next week, we’ll discuss the lessons we could learn on a more individualistic level, far from the office.
Until then, be safe. Always wear a mask.