How CFOs and Finance Leaders Are Playing a Crucial Role in the Coronavirus Crisis
Pandemics, the size of COVID-19, have substantial economic impacts – not just from the costs of managing people’s health, but from the sweeping impact shutdowns have on the economy. Suppressing the pandemic and getting the economy back on track requires critical decisions where financial leaders play a part.
Communication is paramount:
CFOs who don’t have to deal with layoffs within their organization can help their employees from going over the edge. CFOs who are working in companies who don’t anticipate a furlough or mass layoffs need to communicate to staff to keep calm and focus on a path ahead.
Communication is critical right now. Remaining calm is very important. Communication is extra critical for companies who might see trouble on the horizon, knowing there might be difficult decisions ahead, and coming up with a plan. Remember—this is about what you’re going through, you’re the leader. It’s about your employees and staying calm to weather the storm.
Employees are not your only focus:
As much as you need to communicate with employees, you also need to communicate with your lenders. Economists in the financial markets stress that if you think you’re going to miss a loan covenant, you may have other assets that you can use as collateral, or your bank may have a program in place.
Communicate with suppliers and/or customers. Keep that business alive. Retain your reputation as an employer of choice as an employer that people want. As CFO, that is a crucial role in this time of crisis.
The new normal is not what you’re used to:
Now more than ever, you need to find ways to keep business going and support employees. One way that many organizations are literally keeping their employees alive is by relying more on telework and remote video-conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Webex and Skype.
Remember, your company is NOT the only one working remotely right now. The entire country, and half the globe are in this position. It may require learning some new skills, but look at it as a positive—it’s something that you can all add to your resume and/or portfolio.
Working remotely and video conferencing allows leaders to supervise staff who aren’t working at the next desk, checking in every day, and keeping that social connectivity going. There may be people on your team who can work just as efficiently remotely as in the office, and maybe they’ve been doing that. And there may be others who can’t. Keep them employed—show them what to do, find ways for them to feel useful and needed.
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