By Viktor Andrukhiv – Ukrainian entrepreneur, co-founder of Fibermix and Savex Minerals
Ukrainian businesses are gaining global attention for their sustainability and adaptability. In 2023, the focus has shifted from survival to recovery and development. Recent surveys by Diya. Business and Advanter Group show that 8% of companies not only met but exceeded their targets for 2021. Another 9% experienced growth compared to the pre-war period. This indicates that one-third of Ukrainian companies are well-positioned for growth this year.
What factors contribute to this extraordinary stability? While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, we can identify five fundamental rules for business resilience.
Empowering the Team
The team is the foundation of any business, driving its processes and success. Ensuring stability becomes a significant challenge without a stable and confident team. Several factors greatly impact employee effectiveness:
In times of uncertainty, salary assumes even greater importance. Employees seek reassurance that their work will be fairly compensated and punctually rewarded. So, instead of resorting to salary cuts, companies should explore avenues to expand employee benefits and rewards.
Supporting employees during challenging times leads to improved performance. For example, some Ukrainian companies offered their specialists the option to relocate to safer regions and work remotely during the full-scale invasion. This adaptive approach not only aided employee adaptation but also increased loyalty to the employer.
Encouraging Learning Opportunities
Providing employees with tools for personal and professional growth is essential. Research indicates that regular training boosts employee productivity by 22%. Ongoing team training enables businesses to adapt to changes in technology, legislation, consumer trends, and other critical areas.
Building a Strong Financial Foundation
It’s important for businesses to have enough resources to stay stable and be ready for potential risks. Following global best practices, Ukrainian businesses should save about 20% of their profits in an accumulation fund. This fund can be regularly topped up and used for things like moving to a new location, buying extra equipment, and covering expenses during crises. It’s also a good idea to spread out the savings by investing in different things like gold, dollars, euros, or cryptocurrencies. This way, even if one investment doesn’t do well, there will still be enough resources for financial stability.
Mastering the Art of Adaptation
Business sustainability heavily relies on agility and adaptability. Both managers and employees need to make decisions quickly and be prepared for changes. Having plans already in place helps companies move to a new location if necessary. It’s also important to actively look for other ways to produce things if big customers stop working. Keeping an eye on new products, solutions, materials, and suppliers is important. Without being flexible and adaptable, it becomes hard to survive in a constantly changing environment.
The Power of Proactive Leadership
Having strong leaders is important for keeping the team working well together. When there’s stress and anxiety from war, people can start to feel unsure and scared. Good leaders help by keeping communication open and taking charge. They inspire employees and make them feel safe. Great leaders also work hard and support the military, people who had to leave their homes and charities. Their connections and skills have a positive effect. These leaders help create motivated teams that are ready to face challenges together.
Having confidence in your abilities, skills, and experience is important. Ukrainian businesses have shown that they can work well even in tough situations and even get better. Almost 10% of companies have seen their volumes increase compared to before the invasion. Achieving such great things wouldn’t be possible without strong belief and determination, which are essential for resilience.
According to a study by Payoneer, when people in small and medium-sized businesses volunteer together and support the military, it helps them feel more connected as a team. It’s really important to keep believing in Ukraine and its Armed Forces to make sure businesses can keep going.
By embracing these five fundamental rules, Ukrainian businesses can strengthen their sustainability, navigate economic instability with resilience, and position themselves for success.