What can COVID-19 teach us about doing business?

As I write this article, the latest global pandemic—COVID-19 coronavirus disease—is spreading around 180 countries with more than 860 thousand people infected.
While the repercussions of the virus are vast, we will focus on those that have drastically changed the average company’s business as usual:

  • How do we continue delivering our services and build trust with our clients?
  • What are the least complicated communication platforms that could connect us?
  • How do we maintain our company culture and share it with current employees and customers alike?

In a simple answer, this unexpected situation teaches us that we need to prioritize having the flexibility to do our jobs and running the operations regardless of where we are.

In Growin’s case, we decided on the guidelines for our COVID-19 Contingency Plan on March 12th. Two business days later, all of our teams were working from home without restrictions. For this to happen successfully, three conditions should be met:

  1. Digitization of business processes
  2. Be focused and methodical to achieve great results
  3. Keep the company culture alive.

“The cobbler’s children are the worst shod.”

This saying can be applied to all industries, and ours is no exception. We can supply digital transformation services to our clients and list all the advantages. However, we need to address this topic within our organizations and optimize our business processes to be more straightforward, efficient, and cost-effective.

At Growin, all of the services we provide are prepared to be entirely digital.

Our HR and Back Office Teams can implement Administrative, Recruitment, and Talent Management solutions with the support of digital tools.

Our Marketing Team relies on a different number of tools to implement inbound and outbound strategies, as well as to communicate internally with other employees. All of their tools are digital and accessible by other teams, including CRM, automation platforms, and a content management system.

Our Business and Sales Teams can engage with our clients or prospective clients through different digital channels to organize meetings, follow-up with our teams, and exchange information securely.

Even future Growinners engage with the Recruitment Team via different digital channels by applying to a job offer through our applicant tracking system (ATS). From there, everyone has access to the various stages of the candidate’s journey and can successfully hire a new person to join our team. This support is essential for onboarding and all Talent Management-related processes that are totally digital and accessible wherever we are.

Needless to say, all contracts and formal documentation can be digitally signed between all stakeholders in our sales cycle in a matter of seconds.

In Systems Theory, all parts of the system must share feedback to ensure that the final output is better than the independent results of the individual parts themselves.

Every one of us must implement a routine to help stay focused, consistent, and methodical while working. Like most of our technical projects, having a quick daily meeting with your team to plan daily tasks, provide feedback on new achievements, and address obstacles are essential.

Sharing advice on how everyone could be more efficient is very important. Some of us prefer to be task-oriented no matter the importance. Others prefer to prioritize the tasks in a specific order to tackle them, and others even prefer to allocate slots of time to work on different topics.
Many solutions are available to implement these tactics:

  • To-Do Lists and task management tools
  • Time tracking software to implement time-management techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, Pareto’s Principle or 4D’s of Time Management
  • Collaboration and communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams/Office or Google Cloud Platform.

A joint knowledge base is also crucial for the success of sharing ideas, outputs, and results within an operation. It’s every company’s responsibility to facilitate and encourage that kind of knowledge-sharing between all employees.

Like we say at Growin, “We Develop People Who Develop Technology.” This means that we’re passionate about providing professional development and knowledge-sharing opportunities to all of our employees. This goes right along with what Matt Mullenweg, a specialist in managing remote teams and distributed work, was discussing with Reid Hoffman last month on Reid’s podcast when he said: “always be learning.” In this case, however, I would add that we should “always be learning and sharing it with others.”

It is vital to foster a culture of learning as part of your development to increase the added value of our work that, consequently, impacts our clients’ satisfaction and trust. Initiatives like our internal knowledge share sessions (GrowinX talks), technical and opinion articles for our corporate blog and internal newsletters, and our informal coffee breaks with the teams are just some of the many ways to stay connected.

If we keep these interactions going, we ensure that we are staying true to Growin’s culture and mission. That also allows us to share it with the outside world and invite others to join us and be part of the team.

These are critical but challenging times. Some worldwide experts recommend practicing “physical distancing” instead of “social distancing.” In my opinion, they are right. There’s a big difference between the two if we want to maintain our connections with our coworkers, clients, friends, and family.

Stay safe. Stay connected.

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