Up For The Challenge!
Organisations are surely facing one of the most challenging periods in modern times. Covid has waged a war on business in an unprecedented way, the like of which has not been seen on our shores before. It has made it very hard for companies to continue trading in traditional tried and tested ways. Many have been forced into bankruptcy & foreclosure.
The Demise of Tradition
The High Street has been altered beyond recognition. Shops left empty and unoccupied, a sad echo of times past when shopping was done in person. There has been a gargantuan shift to online shopping, a trend that was happening already but Covid has accelerated this movement from real time shopping experiences to virtual ones, at a rate that could not have been foretold. Restaurants & the hospitality sector have spent vast swathes of the last 18months shut down and in many cases are unable to be reopened.
The workforce has been forced to work from home and even now, as countries try to reopen with small shaky steps, many offices have been downsized considerably in cost cutting exercises.This means that more than ever before, staff are being encouraged or forced to work from home. Employees are no longer expected to commute into the office every day or indeed at all. Parking & office spaces in some cases have been cut by a third. Home offices are now becoming a necessity, the commute a thing of the past, bringing it’s own issues. The travelling to and from work added a layer of down time, a time to recalibrate from one role to another. Now, it is just getting up, dressed ( or not!) and wandering into the front room or garden studio, for those lucky enough to be able to afford one.
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Working from home has been seen by many as a dream that cannot be achieved. But now that it is here to stay for many, it is indeed a double edged sword. Homelife and workalike meld into one with socialisation confined to timetabled meetings and limited agendas. People go from back to back meetings with no space to process or action the points raised from the previous meetings. Everyone sits in one space staring at a computer screen for the whole day, limiting creativity and cross pollenation of ideas. More meetings are crammed into one day than ever before, leaving the day job to be completed after hours, during what used to be home time.
The businesses that have been successful in these challenging times, are those that have adapted and pivoted. Agility in the business sector has been the only way to survive and thrive. The ability to see the sea change and get ahead of the curve, is how to be truly agile.
To remain true to the organisations core, whist still being able to meet the customers requirements, requires thinking outside of any boxes previously provided. Keeping staff engaged and feeling valued is yet another element that must be added into the cocktail of change, if change is to be positive. Employees are the most costly overhead and at the same time the most important ingredient in any organisation’s success. Pivoting can create a leaner, more creative workplace that is responsive to changing markets. At the same time, the pivot can & should take the employees along for the ride. Investing in employees has never been more important than now, if future success is to be gained.
How Do You Create Agility and Meet Everyones Needs?
- Create a culture where change is a positive occurrence and not a threat.
- Encourage new ideas from all levels within the organisation, encouraging a sense of belonging.
- Create teams that are small enough to be responsive to change.
- Minimise bureaucracy as paperwork hampers productivity.
- Improve Emotional Intelligence in the workplace & put it into practice!
- Improve resilience of team members, enabling them to be more flexible and less likely to become ‘stuck.’
- Encourage creativity in the workplace.
- Reward employees for original thinking.
- Create opportunities for socialisation and cross pollenation of ideas in an organic way.
- Encourage people to manage this new reality rather than stumble into unhealthy work practices which are already becoming the norm.
Investing in employees will help an organisation respond to a changing market. It will keep them engaged and produce original ideas that can set you ahead of the competition. Investing in employees is not about developing a soft skill set but is all about creating a key determinant of future growth and success.
Contact me to see how I can help your organisation pivot successfully.