Integrating lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic into your business.
The COVID-19 pandemic caught most businesses off-guard, with the ensuing lockdown forcing them to adapt swiftly and decisively – whether they were ready or not. Almost overnight, employees were working remotely with little to no oversight. Some businesses adapted seamlessly, while others struggled to keep employee motivation and productivity high. Why is that?
If we look critically at the businesses that were able to adapt and flourish in the new working environment some key trends emerge:
Enablement, not control
The lack of control and oversight that comes with remote working caused sleepless nights for the management of many businesses. Surprisingly though, less control and oversight was not a major issue in many of these instances. When employees are given clarity about what they need to achieve, are engaged, have the right tools, systems, and processes in place that enable them to deliver, they do not need to be micromanaged or constantly monitored. Some businesses even saw an increase in productivity, happier staff, and improved levels of well-being. Among several other factors, this can be attributed to commutes being cut out and work and family life becoming more integrated.
Although staff were spending more time at home and with their families, the pandemic caused a massive amount of stress and uncertainty for people around their health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of their loved ones. A call from a team member, manager, or boss to check in on staff for non-work-related issues goes a long way. It shows that the business values them as human and truly cares for them beyond just the work they produce.
Open and honest communication
The lockdown has caused many businesses to go under, and caused many more people to lose their jobs or take a cut in their salary. This has understandably caused stress and uncertainty surrounding the jobs, salaries, and futures of individual employees. Business owners may not have all the answers, but open and honest communication puts employees’ minds at ease and lets them know that their concerns are not simply swept under the rug. The days of closed boardroom meetings and only sharing need-to-know information with employees are a thing of the past. Share what is going on in the business with your team; you may just be surprised by who comes up with the solution your business needs.
Constant collaboration and teamwork
Physical distance does not have to mean isolation. Business and teams that have successfully adapted to the new remote working environment have one core element in common – teamwork. Teams may not be able to sit around a table and discuss things like they used to, but this does not mean that teamwork has become extinct. Constant check-ins, updates, and inputs are necessary for continued success.
Technology has progressed to a point where remote working can be just as, if not more, productive than traditional office-based work. Apps such as MS Teams, Zoom, Trello, Asana, and numerous other cloud-based technologies mean that employees can access their work from anywhere at any time. The options are endless, and can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but one thing is certain – technology needs to be embraced if you want to adapt successfully.
What does this mean for your business?
Lockdown is slowly coming to an end, and life is returning to “normal”, but does this mean that we should go back to the old ways of working? Certainly not. Your business should embrace the changes that worked, and rethink those that did not. Perhaps, working from an office five days a week is not necessary. Perhaps, that new technology platform that helped you connect to your staff is something that should become a part of your business identity.
If you want to evolve, let Crowe DNA help you identify what worked and what did not. Tap into our wealth of knowledge and experience with various clients in a variety of sectors and let us help you turn 2020 into the year that you rethink how you work, so that you can evolve into an agile, adaptable business ready to take on any challenges that 2021 and beyond may bring.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)