How to Handle the Corona Virus Threat

If you are managing a business currently, what are you plans for your employees with the looming threat of economic slowdowns because of the Corona Virus situation?

Impact on the World Economy

The chair of the Federal Reserve Bank, Jerome Powell, made statements about the potential impact of the virus on the world economy and the US. It will affect the US because of China’s role in supplying goods to the rest of the world.

He said, “China’s economy is very important in the global economy now, and when China’s economy slows down we do feel that – not as much though as countries that are near China, or that trade more actively with China, like some of the Western European countries,”

DOW Jones Takes a Bath

In just the last two days, the DOW Jones average has plunged over 1,900 points. 1,900 Points! Markets react to uncertainty about the future and the unknowns about the Corona Virus have fueled a sell off. The next few weeks will tell whether this panic is short lived or just the start of a worldwide economic slowdown.

Apple Delays Products

Apple’s CEO, Tom Cook, has a cautious outlook about what effect the virus will have on its business. He said it is difficult to tell how much, (CEO speak for “OMG!”), but planned releases for Apple’s product roll-outs for 2020 and 2021 have been affected and pushed back already.

Employees watching the news about world economic slowdowns are concerned that it will affect them. While they may not be too worried about catching the virus in the US, they may be uncertain about what affect it will have on their business and their company’s future prospects.

Employee Uncertainty

Managing employee’s expectations and morale amidst this uncertainty can be a challenge for managers.

You may not be certain yourself about what effect this situation will have on your business and how to handle worker’s expectations and fear can make a world of difference in their lives – and your business. Your actions and words can result in either a growth opportunity or a difficult time for all involved over the next few weeks and months.
If you have read some of my blog posts on this site or my book, The Magical Manager: How to Crush any Company Goal with Greater Efficiency, Lower Cost, and Bigger Profits, and followed the relational style of management that I set forth, it will be much easier to weather this storm, as well as others that come your way.

Stay Close to Your Employees and Get Input

The best thing to do managing employees is to be as close to them as possible and be completely transparent about what kind of looming threats to the business you see coming. If you see opportunities to grow and defeat the threats, they need to know those things also.

Another very important way to treat those that report to you is to ask for their input. They will surprise you with ideas that will help more than you think. That will give them ownership and empower them to be involved in solutions to any problems.

Don’t Ignore Your People or Have One-way Meetings

A dangerous thing to do (and most companies operate this way) is to ignore their uncertainty and be silent about the company’s position or plans it may have for a downturn in business.

Or even worse, having one-way meetings to disseminate information on the company’s plans is a bad idea. It may feel positive to communicate often about what your plans are, but with no employee input, it is condescending and counterproductive.

Is it a “Nothing Burger”?

The Corona Virus may just turn out to be a “nothing burger”, as they say, or it could be a life changing threat to your business. How you handle your workers is as important or more important than any other adjustment you make to your business.

Be proactive and involved with your people!

Jack Zoellner (Relational Leadership Speaker)

Jack Zoellner is the "Relational Leadership Speaker." He shares his revolutionary 5-step M.A.G.I.C. method for managing workers and radical company culture change through speaking, writing and consulting. For your next event, book Jack here >>