In business, managing your people during the COVID-19 crisis is one of the most daunting tasks you will face short of revenue generation. We all know that if our people are not engaged and productive, we risk the ability to acquire and retain customers. There are 5 key areas that merit our attention.
Let’s start with “Work from Home.” If you haven’t had significant numbers of your employees work from home in the past, this is a whole new dynamic. As we were forced into this environment our immediate need was to address the logistics. Do they have the right technology, what about their phone number for outside calls, can they securely access the organizational network, do they have the right equipment, is their an environment at home conducive to the work they do, what hours do they need to be available? Out of need, all this got addressed relatively quickly. But now we’re having to deal with more salient matters of productivity, communications, and long term viability of this arrangement.
As we enter the phases of restarting the economy, we have other challenges. We need to determine who should return to work, how we provide for their health and safety, how we configure and utilize our space, and whether we have the right protocols in place for co-worker and customer interactions.
In some cases, we need to hire, or rehire staff but we will find ourselves challenged with a new environment around Find, Hire and Retain strategies. Our access to the candidate pool has shifted. People are hesitant to make decisions. They’re asking, should I look at other opportunities or why should I go to work for less than my enhanced unemployment benefits? Skilled workers are more aggressively sought after to fill long standing and new positions. When it comes to retention, decisions will need to be made regarding who and the number of staff required in the new environment. And finally, what can you do to retain them? Their needs and wants may have shifted as well.
Communication is critical to effective staff productivity. All types of communication will need to be revisited. Especially in the context of “work from home” employees. The quality of your communication processes directly impacts the level of engagement your employees have with the company. Maintaining engagement will be critical.
And last, but not least, is Culture. You need to determine how to sustain your desired company culture in a potentially new interaction environment. This may seem less important than the other areas mentioned, but remember, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Whether your company culture needs changed or reinforced, now’s the time to do it.
To learn more join us in our webinar, COVID-19: Talent Management – Issues, Impacts and Ideas on Wednesday, May 6th at 10:00 am. Register at StrategicOrientation.com/events for this free webinar.