We’ve all heard that we are living in “The New Normal.” It’s a term tossed about by the news media and anyone else trying to wrap their heads around how much the world has changed seemingly overnight thanks to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and, not too long ago, the recession of 2007-2009 – often referred to as “The Great Recession.”
The dictionary defines the word normal as “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; average.” As a business owner, do you want the label of average? Being average doesn’t make much of an impact nor does it drive innovation and change.
Instead of referring to the ongoing business climate as the “new normal,” we should call it the “new exceptional,” because nothing about what is happening today is normal. Surviving and achieving success in our current environment requires the ability to be prepared to make changes and to adapt as needed.
As a result, businesses can continue to fight change – which will no doubt result in failure at some point. Or, they can embrace change and prosper. If you are ready to abandon normalcy and accept being exceptional, here are the basics to begin your journey:
1. Upgrade Your Infrastructure to the Cloud
The advantages of cloud-based systems like CRM platforms, online accounting and project management are numerous. Cloud-based telephone systems provide a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable platform making it easy to adapt to changes in the marketplace. Not only do you have the capability to quickly expand, but you also have the ability to reduce or reassign resources to remote locations as needed. Cloud-based systems boast better security than in the past and have become nearly indispensable for business.
2. Promote Employee Mental Health
Not everyone finds change invigorating and exciting. Many of us find ambiguity to be exhausting and a reason for concern. Companies can lessen anxiety, reduce turnover and worker dissatisfaction by fostering employee well-being. By offering options such as flexible scheduling and work location assignments, subsidized gym memberships, and other self-help resources, employers are empowering their workers to increase their mental and physical health and their productivity.
3. Be Transparent
Being a good employer means being honest and open with employees, enabling them to make choices, and plans based on facts instead of rumor and speculation. Keeping important information from your workforce is both unfair and counterproductive. The end result could lead to more stress. Studies show that fretting over possible adverse future events may trigger more anxiety, and pain, than actually knowing that such an event will, indeed, occur.
4. Build a Real Emotional Connection With Your Brand
While the value of creating customer communities and establishing a relationship with clients has always been important, it is more important than ever as consumers analyze not only what they buy and how much they spend, but from whom and for what purpose they make those purchases. It has been shown that “brands with the best price, coolest product, or most memorable marketing campaign might not have an advantage compared with those that exhibit emotional intelligence and communicate with care, honesty, and empathy, and build trust as a result.” And a new study from Deloitte notes that people are paying attention to how organizations are responding to the pandemic, and purpose-based companies that show empathy will likely emerge as the leaders. This observation is evident as new customers are searching for not just companies to sell them goods and services. These insightful customers are searching for someone they can trust to work in their best interests as they grow their businesses.
Let’s Be Exceptional
Instead of wringing our hands and waiting for things to get back to normal, we need to prepare for more change and accept uncertainty as a certainty. By adapting to the needs of our businesses in both technology and flexibility, we will emerge stronger and more successful. If, on the other hand, we do not adopt cloud technology, concentrate on workers’ health, and focus on customer needs for success, we are destined to remain normal rather than becoming exceptional.