What do you do in a situation no one has experienced before, and which no one really was ready for?
Like the situation we all find ourselves in right now. And on top of that, it took basically about six weeks for coronavirus to hit and run its course in China.
So, you have a short window to respond when typically you may take that entire time, or even much longer, to make and implement new decisions.
It’s tough. So here’s some tips and examples to guide the decisions you make at your own c-store:
1. Increase Sanitization
It may not be possible to come up with the perfect sanitization plan. However, every effort you make reduces risk and helps your associates and customers feel safe.
Increase the frequency of cleaning your food prep equipment, counters, restrooms, fuel pumps, and all high-touch areas of your store. Make sure your associates wash their hands correctly and with greater frequency.
And if your team members show any signs of respiratory illness, send them home.
Red Cross offers a more thorough tip sheet on its website.
2. Communicate to Your Customers
Tell your customers exactly how you’re responding to the coronavirus, whether by email or a smattering of signs throughout your store.
Failing to communicate is almost as much of a failure as not responding all. You can’t really overdo it.
The more your customers hear your message, the more they accept and believe that you’re taking the situation seriously and doing everything you can to keep coronavirus from spreading.
And that builds their trust and confidence.
3. Take Care of Your Associates
Crises like coronavirus bring out the best and worst in people and businesses. You’ll hear stories of companies doing valiant things…and stories of businesses doing horrific things.
How you respond during coronavirus will affect the long-term morale and perception of your company by your associates.
View this as an opportunity to do the right thing and let your associates know how much you care about them.
Of course, you have to be sensitive to your budget too. You can only give within your means.
However, do a serious numbers crunch and consider things like offering paid time off to associates who become sick or covering their additional healthcare expenses. Or, help them with childcare expenses.
Cared-for associates stick around, do awesome work, and help your company achieve great things.
This is a tough situation. And all you can do is make the best of it until coronavirus does its thing and passes.
For now, at least you have a bit of guidance regarding coronavirus so you formulate your own response and make it through this challenging time.