The last few months have tested your business like few others. Cybalink is no different. But there are important lessons that we can learn from a difficult situation.
When asked about how the last few weeks have been for her, Cybalink Managing Director Km Lombardi offered an honest answer:
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, feels a little surreal.”
We think that’s a sentiment that almost all small business owners share right now. With the current situation seemingly so fluid, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the air. And none of us likely foresaw the lockdown state that many countries find themselves in at the moment.
But she said that it was her team that were the superstars:
“My team then spent the next 48 hours around the clock getting everything organised for us to operate from home. We set up VPNs, sourced computers, dongles, headsets – you name it – as quickly as possible and minimised any impact on our clients.”
Within 72 hours, the entire Cybalink team was up and running from home. And that meant they could continue providing their services to the many businesses that rely on them.
Through it all, we’ve learned some valuable lessons from this experience. Here are six of the most important.
Lesson #1 – The Cybalink Team Is Amazing!
How do you manage your onshore or local team?
Though she was in self-quarantine, the safety of Kim’s team members came first. Coordinating efforts from her home, she implemented the safety techniques she’d learned in Singapore. These included the following:
- Social distancing of 2 metres
- Regular hand sanitizing
- Cleaning and disinfecting offices
The team really shone during this time of hardship. Not only did they follow all precautions, but they also helped so many in such a short period of time. If you recall, the team managed to move to a work from home setup and was already functioning as usual in 72 hours.
Kim has always known how valuable her team is. But they’ve truly stepped up during this time of crisis to keep Cybalink up and running. And of course, they’re doing the same thing for every one of the company’s clients.
Lesson #2 – Your Support Network Is Invaluable
Beyond working with her team, Kim also started communicating with others in the BPO industry:
“I’m lucky enough to have a group of friends that are all in the BPO industry, EXPATS across the globe who are willing to connect and share with me. Together, we shared ideas of what was working well, where to get equipment, the best setup, communications, and government updates.”
This global network helped Cybalink to implement so many important measures quickly. But it also offered Kim crucial support during a period of uncertainty.
And this support is also reflected in the local community surrounding Kim. She said:
“It’s been great to see the kindness from strangers in my community. People are checking in on neighbours, feeding families, picking up extra groceries, and looking after each other. We need more of that in times like these.”
She now aims to pay that forward to Cybalink’s clients. She understands that many business owners feel the same uncertainty that she felt. That’s why she’s made regular communication with clients a key priority for Cybalink.
Lesson #3 – Cybalink Has Spectacular Clients
Immediately after the team worked so hard to keep Cybalink operational, Kim started contacting clients. And as you can imagine, she also received several concerned calls from them.
Regular communication was the key to reassuring everybody – from her team to her clients – that Cybalink would continue. But it was during these conversations that she learned something important:
Cybalink’s clients are truly a measure above. She said,
“We also asked all our clients to ask them to agree to pay their team members for downtime regardless. All clients agreed in the end, which is a true testament to the value of these team members. It was great to see that our clients understood their social responsibility.”
Many of Cybalink’s team rely on the income generated from clients. And the company’s clients value their teams so much that they took special action to ensure the team received payment. In fact, the management team of one client took a pay cut to ensure their offshore team received payment.
That’s social responsibility in action.
And it is a testament both to the quality of the Cybalink team and the company’s clients.
However, this lesson was not an unexpected one. Cybalink has several criteria in place when choosing clients, including:
- Only partnering with clients who align with Cybalink’s core values.
- Only working with clients who value their teams. We’re very conscious of the welfare and opportunities offered to our employees. That’s why we aim to align with clients who share our views in this area.
Every single Cybalink client stepped up for their outsourced teams during this time of crisis. And to mirror those efforts, Cybalink stepped up for every client too. Kim continues to send daily update emails, as well as call all clients to ensure they’re on the right track.
It just goes to show how important it is to work together with the people who share your values. That’s an important lesson for both life and business.
Lesson #4 – Adversity Gives Rise to Innovation and Understanding
Kim understands that communication is key during this difficult time. And that led to her taking a new step for the Cybalink team:
“We have a solid communication plan set up and one of the first things we did was set EVERY team member in Cybalink and our clients’ team members up on Microsoft Teams. This was an easy and consistent way to communicate with everyone instantly.”
This simple innovation created a communication framework that allows for instant updates. And Kim didn’t stop there. She invited Cybalink’s clients to join this framework.
The results are astounding.
The company’s clients now have first-hand experience of working remotely. This means that they have a better understanding of the specific needs of their team members. Kim feels that many Cybalink clients are undergoing a positive learning experience.
And that means they’ll be even stronger when this time of uncertainty passes.
Lesson #5 – Now Is Not the Time to Sacrifice Your Values
Kim is quick to stress that she’s seen a remarkable number of positives in this situation. However, she’s also noticed that some outside of the Cybalink world engage in more negative behaviour:
“Small businesses are definitely suffering in this environment. I’m a small business, I understand that. But it’s sad to see that people are sacrificing their values during a time like this, rather than looking after their teams, their neighbours, and their community.”
Kim warns against the dangers of adopting a “pack mentality”. This is not a time for us against them. It is a time for everybody around the world to work together so that we can overcome this.
Sacrificing your values now means you’re giving up on the most important parts of you at the time you need them most.
Seeing this happen reaffirmed Kim’s own values. She’s now more determined than ever to do what she can to help anybody who’s affected by this crisis.
Lesson #6 – Savour the Small Moments
Bringing things back to a more positive note, Kim shares what she’s learned on a personal level:
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to savour the small moments – strengthen your connections. I have not spoken to my family as much as I have in the past few weeks, and it has been so important.”
Now is your opportunity to build new bonds and strengthen the ones that you already have. These small moments magnify in importance through the current lens of the world.
And remember that now will not last forever. As we always do, humanity will overcome this unprecedented time in our history. When you look back on today, Kim hopes that you feel proud of the actions that you took.
And she hopes that your bonds with your family, team, and clients will be stronger than ever.
We Will Make It Through This
The current situation has created fear where none existed before. But Kim is quick to point out how many positives she’s experienced during this difficult time.
She’s seen communities and families come together and share their values. Also, she’s seen her team step up like never before to ensure that Cybalink thrives.
And she’s seen her clients take their social responsibilities seriously for the good of their teams.
Hopefully, these lessons will show you that it’s not all doom and gloom. As difficult as times are now, they’re bringing us all closer together. As Kim said:
“Now is not the time to give up, but push a little harder and we hope to be a big part of helping people during this and on the other side when we all bounce back twice as hard. Cybalink is always here to help.”If you’d like to work with Cybalink for your engineering and construction outsourcing needs, please get in touch.