Watch the webinar
- Deborah Fraser, Director for Regions, CBI (Chair)
- Tyler Harnish, UK SME Lead, Salesforce
- Murray Lambell, Vice President, UK Trading, eBay
- Mark Catchlove, Director, Herman Miller
What has Salesforce done to support small businesses during the pandemic?
- We’re offering ‘Salesforce Care’ – which are £5k grants to help small businesses stay afloat and pay staff. This was released in mid-May and the application for the next round opens on 15 June.
- Before you return to work, ask yourself:
- How do you return to work? What is the ‘new normal’ of the office look like? Should we be reskilling our staff?
- How do you start selling again? Focus on ‘evolving’ to absorb new ways of selling
- What technologies can you leverage? Salesforce Care can help here.
Murray’s top tips for trading online:
- There are 250,000 retail businesses of all sizes on eBay.
- Lockdown caused a spike in online sales for products and services. Initially it came from medical equipment and PPE, but then expanded to be more consumer, learning and fashion led. The UK is already an advanced e-commerce economy – and people are more willing to buy online.
- Retailers need to think robustly about what they’re putting online, and how to maximise the opportunity. Think about what the customer will want. The objective should be to maximise the level and quality of their presence online.
- Many have previously not had time to take on all aspects of e-commerce, but the pandemic has forced a leap in this, with many now needing to become more e-commerce led out of necessity.
- Reports suggest physical retail won’t be the same proposition after lockdown as it was before, so e-commerce is here to stay.
The importance of ergonomics when working from home:
- In the background of the debate about home working, we need to consider this experiment is taking place against a background of risk, uncertainty and fear of death.
- If you’re going to do anything for your home workers – ensure they have good, ergonomic chairs!
- Movement is also crucial, as people aren’t doing the same amount of movement as they would working in the office environment.
- Social ergonomics is important too. We all have a fundamental human need to connect and feel ‘belonging’, so ensure you make your staff feel loved, valued and connected.
- Cognitive ergonomics asks how is the environment affecting my brain? Many are being forced to work from home at present, and this may produce a reaction. Ensure you think about the differences between generations and their needs.
How is Salesforce staying connected?
- Some of the approaches we’ve taken are:
- Focus on listening and trying to understand how to help employees cope
- Transparency around objectives
- Focus on health
- Speak openly, honestly and encourage the same from employees
- Be sympathetic and empathetic
- Provide means for people to communicate anonymously
- Encourage a good work/life balance
- Encourage staff to take time off
- Encourage staff to have a distinction between home and work.
At what point should firms think about their own platform over using a third-party?
- It’s not a case of A or B, but a case of A AND B (and C)!
- It’s a combination of knowing your business, and how best to prioritise.
- Moving to online is low cost, but it’s an issue of upskilling your workforce and strengthening resources.
- Different channels will provide different opportunities at different times. Online retail in electronics is now fairly ‘traditional.’, but home and garden is fairly under-penetrated.
What if employees don’t want to return to the workplace?
- Why would anyone want to go to the office at the moment? You need to give people a good reason to do so! You need to assess your home working policy. If you’re doing it and being productive, why would you force them back in?
- Some will dread going back unless they’re given a reason to go back. Try to alleviate any fears around physical interactions.