How Not to Lose Your Team Because of the Coronavirus
By: Mikhail Gilin - Translink
07 April 2020
In this article, we won't discuss whether your employees may become infected with COVID-19 directly – not at all. By observing a routine of self-isolation, they will most likely remain healthy.
However, your employees may become victims indirectly due to staff reductions that are meant to lower expenses. It’s a crisis in some sense - both a general economic one, resulting from stoppages or slowdowns in production, as well as in specific sectors, which will result in fewer companies placing orders for translations. But the number of translators hasn’t decreased.
Business owners are becoming increasingly frightened. Do they part with their trained staff that has proven itself loyal and reliable at work, risking money and business? Or should they build a Noah’s Ark and take “two of every sort,” and lay off just some of their workers, hoping for the quickest end to the flood? Thus, in Russia, for example, many are at risk of winding up on the street by Easter.
The worst case scenario is truly the worst. A crisis, however, always contains opportunities. Therefore, let’s examine the crisis as a time for new opportunities.
Opportunities for development
When a large portion of employees aren't attending to their essential workload, it makes sense to explore possibilities of assigning them to other roles. For example, a project manager could well seek out new solutions for localization, CAT-tools, or QA checkers. A sales manager could begin to study CRM systems, which are emerging in the market. It is quite possible that one of their job functions could create a competitive advantage for your business in the near future. HR specialists may redirect their attention to higher education institutions, and pay more focused attention to raising industrial stars via their own energies.
Tying up loose ends
Busy staff linguists can always spend their available free time auditing the intellectual property of their company, such as Translation Memories or Terminology Bases. Here there is always something to review and correct. Besides, the saying “you can’t stick everything in the glossary” becomes, at such a time, an entertaining and highly promising challenge.
The company’s social networks and site
Have a talk with your PR department. They’re always short of materials for your company’s social networks and site. Start working closely together. Any employee can assist PR managers in practical ways. There is always something to write about. You only need to be open-minded, with a desire to be useful.
Strengthening of close relations with long-term clients
When else is the time to build relations of high trust with those who may not have time for relationship building during regular working days? A Skype call, a gathering together in Zoom, an introduction of their contact people with your staff, and latest industry news, may interest them too! Moreover, based on research, 8% of clients generate 41% of revenue. Our field differs somewhat from online business, but human nature is unchanged – loyal customers provide the most revenue. So why shouldn’t one follow the example of other sectors?
A company must function like clockwork, especially during a crisis. This requires a unified team – in case someone gets sick, or his/her relatives fall ill and he/she becomes obliged to allot time to them, a colleague will take his/her place immediately. Consequently, workflow time does not change. The client remains satisfied with the quality of service, and you receive an extra 100 loyalty points. And the employee that needed help will also add points. And as we all know, loyal employees are a huge advantage in any business.
During these troubled times, we must work shoulder to shoulder. The translation sector is suffering from the coronavirus just as acutely as many others, and maybe even more so. How we will overcome this crisis will indicate how strong our companies are, how flexible and prepared they are for real difficulties. Hold my hand!