At the time of writing this article, we are entering the next phase of the pandemic where restrictions are easing and organizations are looking for ways to return to a new normal. Successfully returning to the physical workplace requires a balance of the external operating environment, such as regional public health status and work demand patterns, with internal capabilities such as employee wellness.
Here are some top tips you can follow to ease out of the lockdown.
- Get ahead of the new normal
Organizations are likely to find themselves in a “next normal” world and managing on-off decisions through different waves of the pandemic. Workplace readiness plans that are iterative, flexible and adaptable will prove invaluable and include ways to audit and measure safety within the worksite. Businesses should base their decisions on solid scenarios, as international events, large public gatherings, and even packed subways are unlikely in the near future. Find ways to make the best of the new situation instead of forcing the old ways back.
- Get Help
Governments around the world have introduced emergency tax measures to support business and employees in the Covid-19 crisis. The current emergency has demonstrated just how linked global health matters are to economic health. Government support is being provided to businesses – both employers and employees – to resurrect the economy. Tapping into these resources should be your top priority as the terms of these loans tend to be quite lenient.
- Realistic Forecasting
Avoid borrowing the cheery and overly optimistic take on the COVID-19 crisis. It may well enhance our performance, but it also results in participation in activities doomed to fail. Also, pessimism is never a good strategy, crisis or no crisis. Instead, it is better to use right information when making choices; optimism tends to result in faulty assessments and mistaken decisions. Finding a way to balance realism with optimism when talking to clients and employees by sharing the facts will help in emerging from this stronger and better.
- Establish Communication Guidelines
Communicating with the clients and employees about the pandemic is a delicate process and businesses need to strategize, communicate, and act with compassion. Clients are understandably most shaken by the economic impact, so it is incredibly important to communicate with employees and all stakeholders by using clear, compassionate and timely messages. Formalize this communication through clear guidelines. Trust is never more important than in a crisis. Keeping clients informed and being honest about where things stand, showing transparency and vulnerability helps build loyalty and lead more effectively.These guidelines don’t have to be exhaustive. In a time when unverified claims and rumors abound, it needs to establish the standards.
- Rework Sales and Networking Strategies
Hit by the Covid-19 slump and followed by social distancing and a nationwide lockdown, businesses will not be going back to the days of face-to-face sales and networking meetings anytime soon. They will have to re-look at how they manage and operate their business including re-visiting their business plan. During such testing times, businesses will need to strategize, communicate, and act with compassion. In some cases, the virtual networking events may not work for some people. In other cases, clients may be struggling with technology. It is better to focus, adapt new rules and be mindful of the aspects to alleviate risks and survive the slowdown.
- Choose the Right Tools
Even as the Covid-19 lockdown caused disruption in work at organizations, it made employees adept at adjusting to working remotely. When organizations open up their workplaces, they won’t be going back to pre-lockdown ways of working. Instead, it’ll likely be a mix of people working from home and working at the office. To keep the workflow smooth in this confusing and unpredictable times, and to keep clients happy, the right software should help you ensure your employees are on track. Regular check-ins over more informal channels, either face-to-face via a service like Zoom or Google Meet, or in text form using a tool like Slack or Discord have proved successful. JD Flow, our project and task management solution can assist in reaching top performance levels. It combines time tracking with project management, enhancing collaboration and making it easy to manage all the business processes in one place.
As the COVID-19 health crisis turns into a lingering financial and economic crisis, uncertainty and doubt will challenge efforts to restore business confidence. To be able to predict exactly what will happen as the pandemic dies down would be somewhat futile. But relying on the above mentioned practices can help the organization move through the reopening phase with a renewed sense of purpose and trust.