This article has been guest written by Jessica Salazar. Thanks to Jessica for her contribution.
Businesses have had to change their approach to building trust during the recent pandemic. It's become apparent things are not going to be the same for a while, which is why more and more customers are noticing a change in how they behave. With the numbers rising rapidly in terms of cases per day, this is something that is starting to impact more and more people personally.
Due to this situation, it has become important for businesses to build trust in the right way.
How Does a Business Become Trustworthy?
Trust is all about hitting the right tone as a business and sticking to it. Some of the most successful businesses in the world have mastered how to do this and it has become a part of their brand-building process. The idea is to have a tremendous impact on how others perceive your business and doing it by taking care of others. This can include your employees, community, and customers. If you can portray an image where it shows you care about people more than money, it becomes easier for people to trust you.
Customers don't want to hear businesses put forward speeches on being optimistic or hoping for the best. Anyone can do that and it often seems hallow in effect. Instead, people want to see a business stand up and help the community and set strict safety standards at the workplace. This is how a good reputation is built during COVID-19.
1. Care for the Employees
Business Advisors Maxfunding.com.au says, “businesses that don't take the time to look at their employees and listen to their concerns will struggle during COVID-19. This is a situation where being an attentive management group becomes doubly important. Everyone needs to be aware of what's going on and they should feel cared for every step of the way. Whether this includes how the building is set up, where everyone is sitting, or how the company is contributing to the community, everything should be focused on keeping the employees safe and happy.”
Treating your employees the right way will build trust. They are going to enjoy working for a company that has cared about their needs in the middle of a pandemic. If you are able to project this type of image, you are going to be noted as a great employer. Sometimes, great communication is able to separate average businesses from good ones during a pandemic.
Unfortunately, a lot of employers are not listening to what their employees want. They are not letting them know about what's happening and that is building distrust.
2. Assess the Workforce Location
Where is the staff going to be during the pandemic and how is that location protected from COVID-19. Are there strict safety protocols in place to make sure everyone is safe whether this includes employees, management, and/or customers?
You have to focus on these details and make sure everything is organised. This includes any travel plans that may have been in motion to represent the business in other parts of the nation or world. When there are clear details in place, it becomes a lot easier for everyone to be on the same page.
The goal is to make it easier for employees to acknowledge symptoms and go through strict processes due to the trust they have in the business. When done right, this promotes a healthy work culture everyone likes being involved in and that adds to your trust factor as a company.
A business that isn't taking the time to create crisis plans will remain a step behind. You need to know what's going to be done to push through a crisis such as this while being able to generate profits. A good example of this would be taking the time to flesh out a full-fledged plan for getting employees to work from home.
When employees work from home in a structured manner, it can allow the business to still flourish despite COVID-19 lingering in the background as an issue.
Are there other ways that you can outsource the work? There are many situations where outsourcing gets the job done and fills in gaps that were leftover due to a reduced workforce. You need to have a separate procedure in place for travelling and make sure the policy is clear in what is required from employees. This is information that matters and it has to come from management right away.
Communication is essential. During a pandemic, it's important for everyone to be informed and on the same page about what's going on. There are a lot of ways things can spiral out of control when it comes to misinformation and leaks. This is why it's essential to be clear about any decisions related to COIVD-19. If employees know management is being honest, it becomes a lot easier for everyone to work. This ensures employees feel taken care of and protected, which builds trust right away. It's also important to make sure the information is easy to understand and focused on helping rather than tricking employees.
There are a lot of adjustments that need to be made, which can cause a change in behaviour. Customers are not going to react the same as they might have last year when the pandemic was not an issue. However, their behaviours are going to be completely different at this point. This is why understanding what your brand needs is a must.
With a crisis such as this, you have to be consistent and make sure to understand what people want to hear from you. It is about having a vision and handling the crisis in an organised fashion. If you do this well, customers are going to gravitate towards you and this will make it easier to generate sales. Building trust is a must and that includes your workforce, customers, and the community.
Written By: Jessica Salazar