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Heidi Ann Shadel, MBA

We’re nearly halfway through 2021, and though many of us can see a semblance of normalcy around the bend, nothing can undo the detrimental effects the pandemic has had on businesses around the world.

 There’s been a collective outpouring of support for small and local businesses that had to close their doors. Others put goals on hold just to focus on keeping their doors open. The question begs, “What can we — consumers, service providers, employees, and business owners — collectively do to get through this together?”

I’ve recently been talking about this with, Royce Harada, my Director of Marketing and we put together some thoughts to share.


Set realistic goals


As reopening continues to fluctuate, business goals are going to look very different. Rather than aspiring toward increasing revenue or expansion, many businesses will focus on getting financially stabilized. 

For service providers and consultants, this means helping entrepreneurs and owners strategize a plan to get back to a comfortable place. We will have to up our game: this requires patience, empathy and a lot of brainstorming. For consumers, it means being patient when your favorite restaurant or service is delayed due to a lack of staffing. And for business owners, that means being accommodating to employees, who are facing the same huge work adjustments. 



Reinvention is inevitable 


We’ve been living in this “new normal” for over a year now, and things have certainly changed… a lot. Our entire interactive experiences have been altered, and will continue to be altered for the foreseeable future.

As businesses become more and more acclimated to life in the time of Covid, it’s still difficult to stay ahead of the curve. Trying to understand what the next day holds feels impossible.

Where patience is key to helping clients and business owners re-strategize their entry point and learn their new pain points, being understanding is necessary for the ever-changing environment we’re all navigating. Staying vigilant, aware, and strategic are important for the paths ahead. Staying open to communication and seeking advice when needed can make this turbulent road a little smoother. 


Safety in the workplace


Follow the guidelines. 

This saying is synonymous with the phrase “care for one another”. Now more than ever, we need to stay actively cognizant of our colleagues, clients, and anyone else we interact with — this is especially important for those who aren’t able to work remotely. 

For business owners, it’ll be key to create a comprehensive, health guideline-driven strategy for the work environment, accompanied with an implementation plan to keep everyone safe.

Our peers’ (and their families) health and wellness should be of our highest priority. Keeping our employees safe is the simplest way to continue to help our bottom line. When we ensure health protocols, work goals can continue to be met.


Love thy (office) neighbor  


Exercising compassion in the workplace must be a high priority in the workplace. The phrase “work family” has truly taken on a new meaning over the past year. We now see it in the news; colleagues uplifting one another in a way that may not have been seen as necessary or “normal” pre-pandemic. Good Samaritans giving back to their communities to keep it thriving even though they may be close to shutting their doors.

 Yes, a lot of tragedy has occurred in the past year, and, yes, we’re still experiencing that same tumult. But what has been born out of this calamitous situation is a collective kindness that’s spilled into every facet of our interactive lives — especially our work lives.


Teams now work remotely or have no choice but to put themselves at risk for their livelihoods. Maybe this is too rosy a picture, or maybe it isn’t rosy enough. Either way, we’ve all been through a lot and continue to face the challenges of our new reality every day. 

Is it possible that this understanding, respecting, and being a source of support is enough to get us over this hurdle in good health? Hopefully this will be the new normal.