During the last days the Covid-19 situation has escalated. We have had a team working on Covid-19 related risk management since late February, and yesterday the management and board decided to take an even more active role in prohibiting the virus spreading amongst our employees, their families and our customers. Our thoughts are with everyone struggling in these turbulent times.
While the professional world prepares to manage their business online, likely for the first time ever, we are lucky enough to be fairly well prepared with a lot of our collaboration already today relying on cross-border and/or online collaboration.
Below a few points on how we are addressing the situation – for discussion, development and input with the larger community. By sharing thoughts and discussing we all learn more about how to manage and excel in this peculiar situation.
Thinking of our employees health first…
We want to ensure the health and safety of all Avaus employees and their families. Therefore we have today communicated to customers and employees alike that we will be recommending working from home starting Monday 16th. We have also for some time been limiting travel and enforced all government policies, now we are increasing our measures because we want our employees and clients to stay healthy – that is the best way to keep the wheels rolling both for individual projects, but also for the economy as a whole. Additionally, we of course help the societies to limit the spreading of the virus by ensuring that people are staying home and not commuting, meeting new people etc. We have communicated this with all our customers in the last hours, and the reception has in general been positive, and our employees have applauded the initiative.
…and our customers’ business second
As Avaus works with questions of data driven efficiency in marketing, sales and service, inevitably we are also discussing and brainstorming on how to address the need that our customers will have in the weeks and months ahead. In this rapidly evolving situation, we want to be two steps ahead of our customers’ needs. We had a scheduled strategy competence monthly for today, and it will circulate on this topic only, to get our best thinkers together and create scenarios for the future.
In the very short term, many of our B2B clients are grounding their field sales organizations, and thus need digital sales enablement in order to be able to carry out daily sales work. The impact of grounding field sales is in most organizations dramatic – and fast actions matter. We have created a first-aid-kit for how to rapidly increase digital sales capabilities, and we have an on-call consultant that is ready to advise clients in need throughout next week. We also have a few clients that have taken on a “digital coach” to help through these times where many are doing things for the first time. We are also putting together advice, best practices and collateral for our customers to utilize, available on our website and on LinkedIn.
In the medium to long term, a rapid downturn in the economy will mean that many European companies face growth issues, and as a consequence, profitability will drop. Layoffs and cost-cuts are to be expected. Data driven sales and marketing capabilities will become even more in demand as there is a need to do more with less and there will be a time pressure on transforming that has not been prevalent in the economy of the past years. Enterprises should seek efficiency from data driven insights and process automation in order to work smarter, not harder in times of a severe economic downturn. We will be publishing our thoughts on the topic in the weeks to come – and our popular breakfast sessions as well as CMO / B2B Marketing and Sales roundtables will find a new digital form over the coming weeks and months.
Target: Learn to do AWESOME online facilitation and meetings
How do we aim to keep the team motivated and active, and avoid the endless scrolling of news and dystopic predictions while waiting for this thing to blow over? We as a management team at Avaus are ensuring that we set the bar high, and that we learn new things in this new situation. We believe that we have a responsibility to inspire our colleagues to learn, develop and innovate also in these times of uncertainty. We have internally stated that we want to be the best consultancy / agency partner for our customers when it comes to online / remote collaboration, facilitation and work. We are putting together tips and tricks into an internal guideline, and we will share that publicly with our community as well. Stay tuned for more information.
We are also seeking input and feedback from customers as well as the larger community – what are your best tips for managing the rapid and forced transition to digital-only?
Let’s share thoughts and discuss – we all learn and we all benefit.
Stay healthy (and remember to wash your hands ?)
Written by Emma Storbacka