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Business leaders need to show courage during these difficult times

By Sam Caucci
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Business leaders need to show courage during these difficult times
A man looks out of the window while he talks on his cellphone while standing in a local business in New Rochelle, N.Y. on March 11 after a coronavirus outbreak there. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 23 (UPI) -- Over the past few days, I have had two kinds of conversations with two kinds of CEOs. The first is about deciding to cut costs, cut hours, cut payroll and cut back. The second is about deciding to push through, be creative, keep their people safe and find a way forward.

The ultimate question is whether to lean back or lean in?

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At my company, we understand that a job is more than a paycheck. And we believe that everybody who works hard deserves to be trained. I believe it is in this moment that we need leaders to lean in more than ever.

We need to support our workers better. We need to invest in tools to keep them connected and improving. We need to continue to strengthen our culture. We need to find ways to move forward and not pause.

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At times like this, just adding more users to your web conferencing platform, adding more conference call lines or adding Slack is not going to get the job done. Companies need to be investing in strategies and solutions that prevent digital isolation and use this time to reinforce organizational priorities in a way that inspires their people.

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I feel for small business owners today. We are all enduring the same pressure in this moment. We have a political climate in Washington that is struggling to work together, we have businesses at a standstill, and we have the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.

We have all been expecting work to change. The dialogue about the future of work, robots and automation has been a major one over the last several months, but nobody could have foreseen how this global crisis would accelerate our need to adapt to new work realities. Before COVID-19, companies struggled with workforce skill gaps, outdated technologies and new generations of workers changing what work looks like. Today, we all struggle to respond faster.

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As the CEO of a technology company that uses games to keep workers engaged and prepared, we have seen a greater demand for solutions to help workers that are on-the-go. I am optimistic that in this moment companies are in fact leaning in.

What does that mean? It means turning to strategies and solutions that allow them to:

  • Rapidly communicate with their team
  • Keep everyone up t -speed while being fun and interactive
  • Strengthen culture and community even while being remote
  • Educate their team on how to effectively lead and operate under remote work conditions
  • Bring staff together with shared objectives while not all being in the same place
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Business leaders and companies need to get to work. We must not just transition to remote work, but master it. We must not forget about the front-line workers that may not be able to operate remotely and find ways to keep them engaged and connected. We must lean in. Yes, this is a crisis situation. But we have more control over its outcome than we may think. Now is the moment. So to all the leaders out there, let's get back to work.

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Sam Caucci is founder and CEO of workforce training platform 1HUDDLE.

U.S. copes with COVID-19 pandemic

Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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