Now is the time to accept that there is no going back to the way things were before COVID-19. In the early months of the pandemic, we all tried to white-knuckle our way through until things “get back to normal.” But by now – months in and with guidelines continuing to fluctuate – most of us have realized that at some level, we must make changes to how we do business otherwise we might not survive. As we step into 2021, we now understand that we will never pick up where we left off last March. Now is the time to ask ourselves what lessons from the pandemic do we want to take with us into the future?
Embrace Change Instead of Trying to Avoid It
Different pressures require different responses and difficult decisions. These can be heartbreaking and take a lot of energy. But instead of spending your energy avoiding change, spend your energy adapting to the change.
Look for ways to build flexibility and adaptability into the culture of your business. If you embrace change, your employees will also live in that mindset. When the time is right, your business will be able to move fast. In moments like these, you need to get ahead or risk lagging behind.
Adjust Your Brand Values and Messaging
If the messages you have been sending don’t match pandemic life, you may need to shift and reposition your brand. You may have discovered a unique position for your brand during the pandemic that you need to bring to the forefront. Many companies made emergency decisions that didn’t align with their company values. In 2021, you need to spend time bringing those back into alignment.
Embrace the Digital Age
During the pandemic, you saw the benefits of using social media, and this became an essential part of how you do business. Lisa Zeeveld from Grit Daily said, “Social media has evolved beyond a non-negotiable into a must-have and do. From content creation to increasing your follower count and measuring the success of your social media efforts through analytics, social media now moves at the speed of life.” It allows you to stay connected to your customers and find ways to help them continue to interact with your business.
Prepare for Change
This may sound counterintuitive because no one could have been fully prepared for what happened in 2020. But it’s important to not just expect disruptions but to actively go looking for them. If you see more business shifting online, prepare for that by maximizing your online presence. You can’t just prepare for everything to stay the same; you must also predict and prepare for change.
Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
All of this change produces a lot of anxiety and fear in everyone, including yourself and your employees. Do what you can to support your team through this time. Don’t forget to take the time to thank your employees and recognize all the work they have done. In a recent survey by Inc.com, 40% of employees do not feel recognized for the work they have done during the pandemic.
Being adaptable is a good idea at the best of times, but during unstable times it’s a necessity. How will you move forward in 2021? Riley & You can help you with your brand messaging, manage your online presence, and much more. We have adapted with you through 2020, and we want to keep serving you in 2021.