How to Keep Employees Busy During COVID-19

As the largest dental practice in North Carolina, Lane & Associates Family Dentistry (LAA) says it is proud to serve the state of North Carolina during COVID-19.

While restricting elective procedures, LAA has also gone above and beyond to serve its employees and community. LAA offered to temporarily pay employee insurance premiums, to prorate employee anniversary gifts, and to offer its staff interest-free loans. The staff has given nearly 1,000 sewed masks to the NC healthcare system, have been encouraged to donate blood, and they have provided lunch for healthcare workers, first responders, and long-term care facilities.

Recipients were thrilled. The Windsor Point Retirement Staff in Fuquay-Varina gushed this over social media: “To Lane & Associates Family Dentistry, from the bottom of the hearts…THANK YOU!! We had the tastiest visit from Poblano’s Tacos Truck today for lunch!! It was delicious!”

Using Lag Time to Surge Ahead

During this uncertain season, employers around the world are navigating the challenges of fewer customers, reduced hours, or even mandated closures.

While you may not be able to proceed with “business as usual,” what can you do to keep your staff busy and profitable at this time? Here are a few ideas to consider:

Mobilize Service

Like LAA Dentistry, companies that care deeply for consumers, employees, and the community will gain trust and admiration.

Perhaps you can’t use your employees for face-to-face business right now, but maybe you can mobilize them for service instead. From a highway cleanup to food bank shelf stocking, brainstorm how you can involve your team in the community rather than running for cover. Companies that people admire help people solve problems, grow personally or act collectively in ways that bring significant impact.

Host Meetings and Presentations Remotely

If you haven’t already, this is a great time to take your meetings from the boardroom to the internet.

Video-conferencing platforms abound in both paid and free capacities. Looking for options? Try Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts. If some employees are unable to attend, choose software that allows you to make recordings that can be shared later.

Get Organized

What are those 5-10 projects your company has been putting off for years?

Now is the time to tackle them! Have your team sort file cabinets, recycle or donate useless items, shred old documents, or clean up digital files. This is also a great time to pursue continuing education, to gather tax documentation, or to work ahead on upcoming certifications.

Research New Systems or Marketing Options

Experts estimate that every minute spent planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution: if it takes 10-12 minutes to plan out your day, this can save up to two hours later on!

This principle holds true over time. By using downtime to research new systems (think project management software, marketing automation, or new accounting systems), you can surge forward after the quarantines have passed.

This may also be a good time to conduct focus groups or A/B testing for future marketing or to gather customer feedback that helps you to assess social and economic dynamics and to consider new opportunities. With the increased downtime, many companies have reported a positive increase in survey participation.

Get Personal

Connections are the key to business, so use this time to make personal phone calls, to write notes of appreciation, or to find ways to offer extra value to your best customers.

Reward loyal customers who share info about your online classes, delivery options, or your social media posts. A little appreciation goes a long way!

Using Lemons to Make Lemonade

Employees are vital to your business.

If at all possible, use this time to test new ideas, provide services in new ways, or to tackle tasks that have been long neglected.