Written by Grégoire Depeursinge, Managing Partner Switzerland and VP EMEA

Our world has changed in a very few days. With a daughter studying in Italy and a lot of our family living in southern Italy where the healthcare infrastructure is limited, as well as colleagues in 50 countries around the globe, I have been sensitized to the crisis early and started to take measures already several weeks ago…


If you are a business-owner or CEO of an SME, these are some of the things you should consider:

  • How to keep your employees safe? Who can work from home and who not? How to reduce the risks for those who have to come and how to avoid a situation in which your whole team is unable to work? How can you support them with their families (children at home, elderly people they have to care for)?
  • Is your turnover in danger? Think beyond the present measures. What if the situation lasts longer than expected or if even tougher measures are introduced? If you feel you are in danger of seeing orders cancelled, try to accelerate delivery and maximize your cash position in order to be able to hold for as long as possible. Think of how you might potentially transform your offering to make it more attractive under the present circumstances. Look at the opportunities, not only the risks. Agility and flexibility are key
  • Is your supply chain in danger? Upstream AND downstream: will you still be able to purchase the goods you need? But also, will your clients still be able to buy from you (as an example, if your business is to sell food to restaurants, hotels and other communities, your clients will disappear, but the food will still be needed. What are your alternatives?). Think also about the long-term implications: are you too dependent from a single source of supply, very few markets?
  • Do you have the right people for the new situation? Do you need to redefine certain jobs (for example those of the sales team if they can no longer travel)? Do you need new skills (for example in e-commerce)?
  • What behavioural changes do you need to implement in the organization? Think of leading, meeting, working together. How can you not only maintain the productivity, but also mitigate the impact of social distancing? Now more than ever, we need social interaction, solidarity and a sense of humour. How to take that into account?
  • Check what state programs could be available to help your business. Keep up-to-date as this is going to change often and administrative requirements might be heavy


The whole AIMS Switzerland team has been working from home for several weeks already. With people spread over several locations (French and German Switzerland and even one person based in Cape Town and supporting Switzerland exclusively), we are well adapted to work in virtual teams and equipped with all the necessary infrastructure and software to conduct interviews, assessments, trainings, etc. at a distance as we have done already for many years! We can provide Executive Search, Leadership Development and HR Consulting services in 7 languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Afrikaans) from here and also draw on the full capabilities of hundreds of AIMS International consultants around the world.

We feel that every crisis brings with it some opportunities and have adjusted our offering in order to be able to support our clients in these times of uncertainty:

  • Tele-training and virtual workshop: “Mastering the challenges of distance working and meeting organization for individuals, teams and companies”, with practical tips and tricks
  • Distance recruitment: we can support you by taking over for certain projects or accompany your team in the adjustment of processes and workflows for that purpose
  • Tele-training and virtual workshop: “Identifying and developing the key leadership competencies in the environment of the coronavirus crisis”. What are the winning behaviours and how to implement them?
  • Supporting those of our clients who deliver essential goods and services by recruiting the right people for them
  • Supporting SMEs in the definition of their contingency plans: what behavioural and organisational changes, new roles and capabilities are needed in this situation? How to adapt the organisation in order to mitigate the impact of the crisis and take advantage of the chances it offers?
  • Reinforcing our client’s HR-teams in order to still be able to conduct long-term HR projects while attending to the crisis
  • Development and implementation of specially tailored outplacement programs with content adapted to the situation (personal financial planning, steps for a change of industry, actions to take during the crisis, how to develop a plan for after the crisis, etc.?)

Please contact us if you wish to know more, give input or simply share your view of the situation with us. We are ready to take your call and work with you to provide a sustainable solution, whether it is just a short term injection of manpower or a long term project you need assistance with, we are here to help.

Related Articles:

AIMS International Switzerland – Global Business From Home For A Reduced Environmental Footprint


This page is available also in