How to strengthen relationships in times like these.
One thing we've learned working over 20+ years in the industry, is that times change. With those changes comes a need to adapt. Although things may seem overwhelming, it is important to stay focused on what you do have control over. Remember, that most of your clients are in the same situation that you are in; if not worse. The need for communication and emphasizing the "human touch" aspect to your relationship is more important than ever.
We're regularly talking with business and community leaders with like minded values and ethics across the country, sharing ideas and perspective to learn what we can do better to support and lead our teams. Here are some of the things we are implementing, and you can use to help get us all through this with confidence.
Lead: As a leader of a team you are needed more than ever before. A friend once told me "Some of us only get one chance in our entire career to be a hero, this is your time to be that hero". Clear direction provided with strong confidence will give your team what they need to move forward.
Safety: Assure your relationships that you are following all CDC guidelines and you are taking every step possible to keep your team and theirs safe.
Communication: Call/Email family,clients, and your team to check in regularly. Ask if there's anything they need? What can we do to help? Let them know we are here for them and they are not alone.
Virtual Meetings: Set up virtual meetings with your team, clients, and support group to keep that human element with the conversation. (Most are working from home and very receptive to this).
Altering SOW: Work with clients on budget items, by either reducing the scope of work or shopping materials to reduce cost.
Be Flexible: Suggest alternate contract terms, and/or scope if needed.
Donations: (Example) We were lucky enough to secure 1,000 masks that we will be delivering to some of our hospital and assisted living center clients.
Take Care Of You: Your team needs you, and they need 100% of you to show up. This can be exhausting in times like we are in now. Make sure you take time to meditate, exercise, get 7-8 hrs of sleep, and perhaps unwind in an activity that puts you in a state of relaxation. You must not feel guilty unwinding during these times. Your body and mind need to be at 100% for an extended period of time and you will not be able to keep up the pace without unwinding. You know what works for you. Make sure to schedule it in, and do it without interruption.
These are just some of the things that we can do to strengthen our client relationships. Not every client is the same. But what remains the same, is the need for communication. That with the follow through action will have us all come out of this better and stronger than ever!