Tips for staying connected professionally during the pandemic

Staying connected and engaged with your employees, customers, and professional networks is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are a few tips on how to use your creativity and flexibility to maintain - and even strengthen - your key business relationships when the need for social distancing prevents "business as usual."

Keep your foot on the gas in supporting employees. If you’ve had employees working from home for awhile, you’ve probably established an effective routine for communicating and supporting them. Keep it up! Some people are experiencing "COVID fatigue," and an extra dose of motivation or inspiration from you could strengthen their sense of well-being and productivity. Here are some ideas:
  • Ramp up efforts to recognize and highlight your employees’ exceptional efforts.
  • Encourage employees to engage in professional development through readily-available resources like webinars, books, podcasts, TED Talks, and more.
  • Remind employees to keep in virtual contact with their families, social groups, faith communities, and other support systems.
Use creativity and compassion in engaging with customers. During the coronavirus pandemic, businesses that are showing care for their communities and genuinely addressing customer needs are succeeding in actually strengthening their customer relationships. Here are ways you can connect and engage with customers effectively:
  • Make sure customers can reach you, and treat them with care in personal interactions. In times of crisis, people will always remember how you made them feel.
  • Social media is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers. Besides using social media channels to update customers on the logistics of doing business with you during the pandemic, you can also use social media to demonstrate your care for the community.
    • Consider posting about what your company is doing to help the community.
    • Offer shout-outs to nonprofit organizations or others who are supporting your community as well.
Touch base with your professional connections. Face-to-face networking events, conferences, and professional development opportunities are on indefinite hold, but you can still network successfully from behind your computer. Consider these actions:
  • Check in via text message, LinkedIn messaging, or email with former colleagues, industry friends you’ll miss seeing at an upcoming conference, or other business people in your community. Acknowledge the current circumstances and share your support. Tip: a short note is easier to respond to than a long one.
  • Consider converting pre-planned social engagements to video calls instead of cancelling them.
  • Remember: networking involves building relationships over time, so keep your strongest connections alive during the pandemic. It’s always the right time and place to bolster your professional network.