COVID Continuity Champion: Mike Bacchus

Contributors to the COVIDContinuity website are known as Champions, as they provide their leadership, insight, and resources to assist other business owners in these challenging times. We will be featuring these Champions on our blog.

Mike Bacchus, BSc, MBA

Chief Executive Officer, Optimum Talent

How have you adapted your leadership style through the crisis?

I have tried to better understand and appreciate the perspectives of each individual team member. I realize that our colleagues view things through different “lenses”. It’s essential to take the time to understand and make informed decisions. As we work through this pandemic, it is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution to problems that arise. We need to be more flexible in our understanding.

A good example would be our “Return to Workplace Strategy,” which we recently implemented. We had to find a compromise that accommodated the apprehension of our colleagues while also being understanding that social isolation was having a negative impact on many.

Describe a tough decision you’ve had to make since the pandemic started.

A tough decision that resonates with me was deciding to roll back wages by 20%. While we have taken advantage of the various government subsidies that are available, it was also necessary to combine those with a comprehensive salary reduction nationally and across all roles. Given (now) a better understanding of those impacts at the individual level, I would have implemented things differently. As an example, for those who are in a lower income bracket, the 20% wage reduction had a very significant impact on lifestyle as their base expenses may not have changed as much.

How are you feeling?

I am feeling confident! I am confident we have an exceptional team. I am confident everyone is working exceptionally hard on the right activities to the best of their abilities. I’m confident we have made the right changes to ensure the viability and success of the organization. I know that we will emerge as a much stronger team!

Learn more about Optimum Talent

CommAlert’s Tim Carwell is a co-founder of This website provides current and useful information, resources, and support to business owners and non-profits as we’ve navigated through the public health emergency. It is all available all for free. The CommAlert Group continues to support this movement and strongly believes that mutual aid is essential for organizations to survive and thrive during crisis.