UK Big Businesses are Giving Back During COVID-19

Free food and drinks for NHS staff as big businesses lend a helping hand – see how your business can help too

Some UK businesses are determined to stay positive and give what they can to the public and their employees in these difficult times. It’s important to peek through your curtains at the silver linings happening around us and see what your business can do, however small, to aid those around you.

  • Many McDonald’s franchises are offering free drinks to NHS staff, council and emergency services
  • Pret a Manger branches are handing free drinks and 50% discount on food to NHS employees
  • Dominos is gifting a free pizza to anyone with an NHS employee card today (Friday 20th March)
  • LinkedIn is offering learning courses for free
  • Larger companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google are ensuring full paid sick leave for employees, and even, in the case of Amazon, hiring more staff to help fulfil orders.

These are fantastic offerings, and where you can afford to provide something to help, that has to be encouraged. But for SME’s this can prove a tricky height to reach, especially given how hard your own business is being hit by the current climate. There are, however, some smaller things you can do that can make the world of difference, helping people to stay afloat during the crisis and maintaining your position as a valuable provider for your customers.

Maintaining an open and honest feed of communication

Keep an active flow of communication with both your employees and your customers.

No-one expects your SME to cure coronavirus, but staying in touch with those affected by your company is important to show that they are valued by you. Engage in an active dialogue with employees and customers so you can understand their struggles and stay informed; know what is going on and how it might affect your business and industry sector, and vitally, be transparent and communicate the facts.

Protecting employees is the key to protecting your business – and giving back

It seems strange to look inward when the wider society is in such disarray, but remember if every company did their bit, we’d ride out this crisis all the smoother.

Where possible, arrange for your staff to work from home, put in place social distancing measures, or, if all else is problematic, resort to gloves, disinfectant, sanitiser, tissues, and hand-washing… a whole lot of hand washing.

You and your employees are the building blocks of your business, and protecting wellbeing is important to keep the business running. Where feasible, protect health, provide sick pay, and keep jobs; these things do cost money, but your staff will thank you for it, and in the end, so will your business.

Here at OrderWise, we are lucky to be able to arrange for the majority of our team to work from home with our business management software.

For our existing customers, we’re also offering free additional user licences to help businesses put in place collaborative yet remote working. We hope you can use this to enable your business to maintain functionality through COVID-19.

Stay tuned for our ‘Five Tips for Managing a Home Working Team During CoronaVirus’ – a new blog going live for next week to help you and your employees stay connected and on the same page, however remotely.

Offering your services to the wider community

There are some parts of your service that will be sitting idle at present, think about how you can offer these to the wider community and put your company on the map. Just because you offer something for free doesn’t mean it will cost you.

Some larger examples of this are the National Trust offering their parks and gardens as a safe escapism for people self-isolating, or the supermarkets changing their opening times so the over 70’s can get supplies.

In the big picture, this will not cost companies much revenue, and rather keep customers in the long term, doing good and spreading news of your company.

Whether you are florist with a dip in flower sales around Mother’s Day, or a restaurant with food going to waste, there is a way to turn a sticky situation into something that can invaluably help your reputation in your wider community, helping to brighten those in this time of need.

Wherever or however we are working, we must remember that in true British fashion let’s keep our spirits up, keep calm and carry on.

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