Learn From Charter’s Mistake: COVID-19 Is A Meaningful Moment For Employees

Two weeks ago, news outlets reported that Charter CEO Tom Rutledge sent a memo to employees reiterating that despite the growing COVID-19 outbreak, he expected all employees to continue to report to the office. An engineer who took issue with the policy and sent an email to executives and other engineers questioning the policy resigned shortly thereafterAlthough the company has since amended its policythis scenario underscores how ignoring employee sentiment in moments that matter is a liability in times of crisis. Many scientific studies and Forrester’s Employee Experience Index data show that employees are in fact more engaged when they have the option to work from home. The COVID-19 crisis is a moment that matters to your employees, so how you behave and communicate as a leader right now is monumentally important. For better or worse, you will be remembered for it. And when this crisis is over, no amount of money can earn you back the employee trust and commitment that you sacrifice now.

Speaking of trust . . .

Consumer Trust Is A Bellwether For Business Resilience

COVID-19 brings a sweep of psychological, sociological, and economic changes to the consumer’s world. We’re applying Forrester’s Consumer Energy Index to measure the emotional toll of COVID-19 and what new consumer norms will look like next. Early lessons from our analysis show that consumers are most anxious about their ability to satisfy basic needs — think financial status, physical health, and access to groceries and household products. Yet consumers are not preferring to retreat to the safety of what’s familiar. On the contrary, physically distanced lifestyles stimulate consumers’ appetite for entertainment, learning, or adventure to fill the social void. What this means for your business: Earning trust is your metric for success during this time. Our data shows that consumers currently have the greatest capacity to dial up trust. The more trusting consumers feel toward your brand today, the more willing they are to believe that you will put them first, even after the COVID-19 crisis passes. Explore more of our consumer analysis, and stay tuned to the blog as we continuously report the most up-to-date insights over the coming weeks.

Mayo Clinic Has Spearheaded An Open Innovation Program To Address COVID-19

Our research has shown that companies are often reticent to embrace open innovationBut radical and risky approaches are often the best way to accelerate innovation to drive business growth. Or, in this case, to combat a global pandemic. The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalitionan open innovation effort pioneered by the Mayo Clinic’s John Halamka, M.D., focuses on crowdsourcing capabilities from the private sector and using adaptive intelligence to create evidence-based responses to the COVID-19 health crisis. Participants include tech leaders like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Salesforcehealthcare tech vendors such as AcadiaathenahealthBuoy HealthEpic, and nference, and others including HCA HealthcareIntermountain HealthcareRush University, and the University of CaliforniaTo date, the coalition has started testing innovations to increase COVID-19 testing capacity, coordinate early therapies, and accelerate vaccine developments. If your firm would like to help them, the coalition is looking for more participants.