If only we could rewind the clock and know what we know now about our businesses. What business processes worked then, no longer work now, who was our guiding light, no longer has the skills to lead the untrodden path – where we once found creativity, inspiration, comfort and routine, that place no longer exists like it was before, and our teams are feeling new waves of emotions – anxiety, vulnerability and confusion – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Leading your business through a crisis is one thing, but then there’s an unforeseen once in a 100-year global pandemic, and the rulebook needs to be rewritten.
We know this seems overwhelming, and that’s why we’re here to help. Now is the time to rewrite the rules. Now is the time to take a good hard look at what is working for you and your business, and what no longer serves you. Now is the time to simplify your business from the ground up and create a work environment where employees and leaders can be mindfully present, working productively and harmoniously, where the work itself is simplified, in a culture that supports the health and wellness of all employees and truly aligns with your brand. We know you’ll reap the benefits and so will your employees.
We all look forward to the day when we can, as much as possible, resume our normal lives, but in the meantime here’s our advice on what you can do now to keep the 4 P’s in sync.
Leadership: Look for new leaders in unexpected places, including those well down the org chart. Some young middle managers are defying the problems and frustrations of this difficult period to achieve far more than others. Identify who is leading your teams, beyond just results – and capitalise on these emerging leaders by enabling them to influence and participate in the direction of the company.
Mindset, Behaviours & Attitudes: In uncertain situations where there’s a lot of change, creating structure and routine has been shown to promote effective learning and working, as well as improving psychological resilience, employee wellbeing and helping to overcome uncertainty. Leaders managing remote teams should look for ways to encourage employees to keep their ‘normal’ daily routines with adjusted mechanisms for safe behaviour and remote working – exercise, fresh air, regular meetings and face-to-face check-ins (zoom or in-person if allowed) – and access to the best digital tools to their jobs easily.
Remote work: Remote, virtual and flexible working will now be the new normal. Now is the time to embrace all the positives that remote working can bring but be clear on your policies — where they apply, how they will work, and when they will be reviewed. Homeworking is rare in some industries and the need for additional explanation should be anticipated.
Communication: One of the major problems throughout the current crisis has been navigating an unprecedented level of uncertainty. The most important thing to offer is clear and consistent messaging to foster a better understanding of the coronavirus and how it is impacting the business. It’s essential to be transparent about the decisions being made and the timeline of those key decisions.
Productivity: This will be a testing time to keep productivity levels high as many employees will be distracted and unmotivated. If you’re feeling that there’s frustrations, procrastination, or a general drop in productivity, then this could be a good time to review your processes and best practice and simplify as much as possible. Good places to start are if manual data is being entered more than once, errors and rework prevalent, and tasks are routine and monotonous with no clear purpose.
Technology: Technology is going to underpin the new working world, and if you don’t have the necessary infrastructure in place (we assure you not many companies do), then you need to provide the technology they need, the support they need to use it and the training to do it right. If you get the systems in place and ensure they are working cohesively, then we guarantee that productivity will go through the roof.
Health & Wellness: Prioritising the health and wellness of your employees during this challenging time will never be as important. Your job is to encourage a healthy work-life balance and educate staff on ways to stay mentally and physically healthy during this time. Offering tutorials on mindfulness, webinars on resilience, or merely suggesting employees go for a walk is especially beneficial to their health and wellbeing. In turn, being open and transparent in your interactions with employees also lets them know they are not alone.
Personal Development & Rewards: Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that almost half of Australian businesses have either let go, stood down, or cut the hours of their employees. if you are in a position to know that you are holding onto employees, it’s important to reassure them of their job security and that you are going to continue to invest and develop them. Review your talent management programs and ensure it meets today’s new environment and employee needs.
If you need advice on how you can navigate your business through this unprecedented time, then please get in touch and we’ll support you through this transition and out the other side – stronger, more resilient, happier and more zen-like.