Here at Independent Bank, we are honored to partner with the Small Business Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber in hosting the “Lunch in the Know” series.  Over the past year and a half, we have had the privilege to learn from a diverse and impressive collection of industry leaders – and our most recent lunch was no exception!

During the four-part presentation, we heard from Joe Cutrell, Director of Strategy & Innovation at AT&T; Brad Federman, CEO of PerformancePoint LLC; Beth Wilson, Founder and Chief PR Officer of Wilson Public Relations; and Michael Hoffmeyer, Director of the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship.  Together, they fleshed out a multi-dimensional picture of the post-pandemic workplace and described the new and varied demands that this “Next Normal” will place on small-business leaders.  For a look at the highlights, here are Independent Bank’s Top Takeaways:

Remain Resilient

In the “Next Normal,” resilience will be the name of the game.  As remote work becomes more prevalent and workers themselves become more mobile, companies will increasingly have to adapt on the fly in order to stay relevant – and solvent.  Because of this, small businesses should eliminate any complacency from their systems and summon every bit of their entrepreneurial grit and ingenuity to prepare for the unexpected.  Contingency planning should be prioritized to ensure that companies have alternative channels in place to meet their customers’ needs and to keep their income as consistent as possible.

Communicate Clearly

The certainty of constant change brings into focus the necessity of clear communication.  Employees and customers alike want authenticity from the companies with which they engage, which requires intentionality, receptivity, and consistency on the part of business leaders.  Regardless of the platform – whether audio/video or in person – leaders should be diligent in making sure that they understand what others intend to communicate and that they themselves are being clearly understood.  To be effective at this, one must remain attentive to nonverbal cues and be able to demonstrate emotional intelligence when tackling a tense topic.

Prioritize Your People

The pandemic has accelerated a transformation in what employees value and desire.  As the boundary between work and home continues to blur, stress levels continue to rise in kind.  Consequently, many workers now crave a true and distinct work-life balance.  What’s more, they long to work for companies that will invest in them and provide them with a sense of purpose beyond a biweekly paycheck.  To remain attractive to prospective hires, small businesses should ensure that their mission is clear, that their employees are listened to and well-cared for, and that their model permits the kind of balance sought by so many high-quality workers.

 

As you envision and prepare for this “Next Normal,” we invite you to visit us here at Independent Bank.  We would love to have a conversation with you to learn more about your business and your evolving banking needs.  As a local institution, we want to do our part to champion and to showcase small businesses in our Greater Memphis community – because when you succeed, we all do.

Finally, we would like to say a huge thank-you to our presenters for sharing their time, expertise, and insights with all of us.  If you'd like to watch a replay of the webinar, you can access it here.  And as always, we thank our partners at the Small Business Council for their invaluable efforts in facilitating these wonderful events.

Until next time!