How to Lead During a Crisis: Learn Why Health Culture Matters

How do you handle leadership in times of crisis?

One of the most valuable assets in the Contact Center industry is leadership. When hiring and training people who know what leadership values they can promote within the organization, productivity, management and the sense of community are on the rise.

And in times of crisis, it brings even more added value to the business and its employees.

We are at a pivotal moment regarding the health of the worldwide population. The pandemic reached its highest peak within the last few weeks, with the US becoming the most affected nation, registering more cases than China, the “patient 0 country”, and Italy, Europe’s epicenter.

The “unexpected factor” challenged the world to take a harsh shift and wonder: how will this change how we function as a society?

We witnessed a growing decline in the well-being of businesses, a very prominent and dramatic impact of the coronavirus on the economy, causing side-effects that are visible and will be remembered. The massive scale of the Covid-19 outbreak made it challenging for executives to respond.

Though desperate times call for desperate measures, panic and fear should be replaced with planning and mindfulness, or in other words, crisis management.

But how easy is it?

For businesses across the US, including Contact Centers, business continuity, employee management, and long-term outlooks can rely on one of the most absent, but essential steps in crisis leadership: the culture of health.

The Urgency for Change

No challenge has yet been too big for us. We reached the moon, and one day, we will reach Mars. We only dreamt about a Star-Trek scenario and we now have self-driving cars and AI technology.

The question is: are we still focused on the non-technology department? The United States lost more than $226 billion in productivity per year because of personal and family health issues.

In nowadays news, as coronavirus spread, the economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, breaking a 10-year string of gains. The urgency for change didn’t start with the pandemic, but the urgency for change has now grown more than ever.

Deconstructing “Health”

Health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The question is: are you healthy? Are your loved ones healthy? Is your business healthy?

Good health matters when, where and how we live, including our home, where we go out, and where we work. The organization is responsible for the overall health providers: the workplace, the culture, and humanity. Take it as an alliance between businesses and the health system: if businesses were more involved in the health department, how would the transition feel right now?

According to the Harvard Business University, implementing a culture of health will help your business with the following:

  1. Reducing costs:
    • Minimize losses associated with “presenteeism” (working while ill) and absenteeism
    • Decrease illnesses, injuries, and fatalities resulting in cost savings
  1. Increasing revenues and profits:
    • Facilitate economic growth by shaping a healthier and more efficient workforce
    • Shape healthier communities that have more disposable income to spend on products and services
  1. Enhancing reputations:
    • Improve consumer perceptions and public reputation by helping to solve important societal challenges
    • Enhance current and potential employees’ view of the company to retain and attract top talent

The 4 Pillars of The Culture of Health

Secondly, why does it matter to you and your business? What’s in it for you or your business? Besides the benefits listed above, think about the now-crisis. It is your duty as a business to provide good crisis management for your employees.

The reality (…) is that call centers have a “pretty high” risk of exposure for their employees because they have tight spaces, some shared equipment and a lot of people coming in for different shifts.

And you might be thinking: even if I get my agents to work from home – which we can help you do in just 72 hours – what happens next? How do I make health culture part of our culture if I have no clue how to do that? And what impact will it have?

Well, you can start by evaluating your ability to lead a team effectively. Then, learn more about the essential segments where you can start making changes for your business to thrive and grow.

  1. Consumer Health: The healthfulness and safety of the products that a company sells
  2. Employee Health: The safety, health, and wellbeing of the firm’s employees
  3. Community Health: The Health and safety, and quality of life of those who live in communities important to a business
  4. Environmental Health: The healthfulness of environments impacted by a business

The 4 pillars help executives uphold a vital aspect of their role: leading. Considering every aspect where you can make a positive difference, whether it is for the consumer, employee, community or environment, can make the job easier for anyone.

Summing Up

With a few basic tips, we want you to know and remember that leadership is a term used to describe how you can best build relationships with your followers, work together and thrive together.

Research and find what skills you need for crisis management, but more importantly, think about how your business fits with the four Culture of Health pillars and how they will help you oversee and overcome any future crisis. Like Tim Ferris says, “Focus on being productive, not busy”.

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