These are interesting and unprecedented times in our country.  Nobody has clarity on the future impact of coronavirus in terms of deaths, suffering, and economic damage.  Ultimately, we’re all passengers on the same ship, just temporarily residing in different cabins.  Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are emotions that virtually all of us will experience from time to time during this process.  I’ve chosen to be part of a committed effort to rally people together to help one another.  The focus is for all of us to move forward with positive, productive steps to adapt to unpredictable change.  This includes providing helping hands of encouragement and suggestions for people who may be in the grip of despair at any given time. I try to look at the bright side of everything but I am not always a shining example of this!  I believe the same holds true for most if not all of us. 

I intend to hold a weekly virtual (zoom video) meeting every Tuesday from 12-1 pm at my zoom address ( https://zoom.us/j/3571033654) for as long as it is helpful.  There’s no invitation and no signup to attend.  Just hop on if you’re interested.  There’s no charge for these meetings.  The reason I’m doing this weekly is that we have no way of knowing who is in most need to talk at any given time and things can change quickly and unpredictably.  That’s why I want us to be here for each other regularly.

After each meeting, I intend to write a blog that summarizes the results of the meeting so that people can have this to read and send to others.  I believe that the more we help each other, the better of ALL of us are!

Below is a summary of the first meeting on 3/17/20:

There were between 17-21 people on the call at various times.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Everyone on the call has some open job orders they’re working on but have seen varying decreases in demand due to client uncertainties. Companies are not yet clear on how they’ll be affected and for how long.
  • One person who staffs temps for the manufacturing industry is still busy with candidates being brought in for interviews to keep the manufacturing processes going. Interviews are being conducted while seated further apart and avoiding physical contact.  Elbow bumps have replaced handshakes!
  • Somebody who has been through two recessions emphasized that times like this provide the best opportunities to build relationships with people (both clients and candidates). When you’re authentically there for people when they’re at their time of greatest need (without expectations of receiving anything in return), people appreciate, connect and remember you.  Call your clients and prospects just to see how they’re doing and ask what you can do to be helpful.  Here’s your chance to provide authentic encouragement and stay in touch with them.
  • This is a time to emphasize any “small wins” that you’re achieving. Your employees are also concerned and are looking to you for your leadership.  They need to believe that they can have made it during these challenging times.  At the same time, be real and authentic…false optimism and magical thinking harm your credibility. 
  • Continue to look for opportunities and the positive aspects of undesirable realities. Positive aspects always exist if we’re willing to look for them and not obsess on our fears.
  • Be realistic with your employees if you need to cut salaries/draws in order to remain solvent. Many people would prefer to earn less and stay employed. They also know that your motives for lower compensation are legitimate. 
  • Some members of the meeting generously shared materials that can be helpful for everyone to adapt to our current conditions.

I’m grateful to have a community that’s willing to pull together to help each other.  Please let other industry leaders know about this group during this time of need.  We will get through this and be better as a result!

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