Business Leaders Need to Show Courage During These Difficult Times

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The ultimate question... to lean back, or lean in?

By Sam Caucci, 1Huddle

Over the last week I have had two types of conversations with two kinds of CEOs across franchising. The first is one deciding to just cut costs, cut hours, cut payroll and cut back. The second is one deciding to push through, be creative, keep their people safe and find a way forward.

At my company, we understand that a job is more than a paycheck. We believe that everybody who works hard deserves not just support and training, but also leadership. I believe that, in this moment, we need leaders to lean in...now, more than ever.

We need to support our workers more. We need to invest in tools that keep them connected and improving. We need to continue to strengthen our culture. We need to find ways to move forward and not pause.

We must not just transition to remote work, but master it."

At times like this, simply adding more users to your web conferencing platform, adding more conference call lines or adding slack is not going to get the job done. Leading franchise brands are choosing to invest in strategies and solutions that prevent digital isolation and are using this time to reinforce organizational priorities in a way that inspires their people.

I feel for small business owners today. And, as a small business owner, we are all facing the same pressure in this moment. We have a political climate in Washington that is struggling to work together, we have businesses at a standstill and we have the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.

But, let’s just pause for a moment. It is fair to say that, as a franchising community, we have seen some of these changes coming. For the last several years at our annual convention, we have heard from 10x speakers from across franchising share how technology is an opportunity... and how it is going to change how we work for the better. We have been hearing that a change is coming and we have all been expecting it. And, although it may be happening faster than we might have expected, the question now is about how we will respond.

We need to invest in tools that keep them connected and improving. We need to continue to strengthen our culture. We need to find ways to move forward and not pause."

The discussion about the future of work, robots and automation has been a major one over the last several months, but no one could have foreseen how this global crisis would accelerate our need to adapt to new work realities. Before COVID-19, companies struggled with workforce skill gaps, outdated technologies and new generations of workers changing what work looks like. Today, we all struggle to respond fast enough.

As the CEO of a technology startup that uses games to keep workers engaged and prepared, we have seen a greater demand for solutions to help workers who are on-the-go. And I am optimistic. I am optimistic because over the last two weeks, I have witnessed leaders across franchising lean in.

What does that mean? This means turning to strategies and solutions that allow them to:

  • Rapidly communicate with their team
  • Keep everyone up-to-speed while being fun and interactive
  • Strengthen culture and community even while working remotely
  • Educate their team on how to effectively lead and operate under remote work conditions
  • Bring staff together with shared objectives while not all being in the same place

So, in this moment, we have also made a decision to turn to our franchise community first. We have decided to make our 1Huddle workforce training game platform open for all franchise brands. If you are looking to stay up-to-speed with breaking news about COVID-19, get a quick training game in to sharpen your skills, or to learn something new to help transition your team for jobs of tomorrow — you can sign-up right now, right here

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Franchising is strong. And, to our leaders, yes, we have a lot of work to do. We must not just transition to remote work, but master it. We must not forget about the frontline workers who may not be able to operate remotely, but instead find ways to keep them engaged and connected. We must lean in.

Yes, this is a crisis situation. But, the line will flatten and the worker whose hours you may need to reduce today will be standing at your door and ready to get back to work when this is all over. We can’t slow down. We have more control over our outcome than some may think. Now is the moment.

So, to all the leaders out there — let’s get back to work.

Sam Caucci is the Founder and CEO of 1Huddle. Find out more about 1Huddle here

Keep informed on the latest news regarding the coronavirus and how it affects your business here.