The pandemic Covid-19, the unprecedented virus of the century has certainly left our many habits and underpinning customs largely disrupted. Whether you are a business owner, management-level executives, employees, or freelancer, the virus has affected all of us in one form or another – if not the most towards entrepreneurs or organisations. 

And after months of battling the virus – governments across the world will then have to turn their attention to another pressing matter, the country’s economic health. While the majority will not put their own health at a bigger risk, business continuity is vital in restoring the nation’s economic health. 

Which then begs the dreaded question – are you ready to go back to work or resume your business? 

ADJUSTING TO A NEW NORMAL

In such a highly volatile environment, the usual practices that work will no longer be practical as before. Businesses that fail to plan properly will risk a fragile, fitful, and partial transition. 

Before you swing yourself right back into the rat race, the first few steps towards your business and career recovery are to relook into your approaches within these areas:

Step 1: Perform the Necessary Damage Control.

As a business owner, you will come face to face with difficult but crucial decisions to make. Before making such decisions, ask yourself these questions – “What can I do to minimize the unavoidable damage, for both my business or my employees? What are the costs I can adjust to potentially avoid unwanted retrenchment and still keep my business moving ahead?”

You might also need to consider reviewing your infrastructural needs by identifying areas of deficiency such as technology and communication. Some expenses are a necessity, and to identify the support needed by the employees to perform their job optimally – do carry out evaluation and research followed by carefully planned implementation. 

For instance, society widely perceives working from home is ideal that improves productivity but then you will soon discover not all will resonate with the idea.

Step 2: Safeguard Employees’ Well Being.

These aspects of an employee’s health are intertwined; physical, emotional, and mental. Balance is the key when it comes to covering all of them. 

To reduce the risk of infection, strict rules and regulations must be observed to govern social distancing, eliminate employee gatherings, and practice hygiene measures. As you open up your office for your employees to return, think of how you can configure safety measures in your physical workplaces. Put 6 feet requirements in employee seating. Install transparent shields, place floor markers, and more. Or even the staff to work from home if he or she is feeling unwell.

As far as human components are involved, staff who have been away from their desks for weeks or months, returning to work might feel a little unsettling if not jarring. Being the leader of your organisation, proactive steps must be taken to bring your employees’ back into the fold. Treat every announcement especially those related to new policies with sensitivity and quickly acknowledge any rising concerns. 

Perhaps time to look into a virtual team-building event? With the help of technology, anything is possible.

Step 3: Redefine Your Process Flow ie. No Longer the Traditional 9-5

Now that the possibility of working remotely is no longer an illusion, some internal processes are no longer applicable and need to diminish. It is only prudent of you to allow remote working for several months to one year at least from now, for both practical and financial reasons. 

With many parents’ and families juggling to fulfill both their home and work responsibilities, you need to acknowledge their shifting priorities. The flexi-hours working arrangements should be made available for these employees, especially with the virus scare out in the open.

Step 4. Realign Your Fundamentals in Communication

As part of the organisation’s management team, it is essential to lead your staff with empathy. Work together with your human resource teams to come out with effective communication plans that can be implemented inside and outside of offices. Be tactful in addressing issues and consider their feedbacks about their careers’ future and roles through employee surveys.

Moreover, what is the use of advanced communicative tools if not to reach out to your audience? There are plenty of them in the market, and worth investing too such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts. According to research, C-suite leaders are now recognising the value of internal communication more than before to capture workplace sentiments.

Step 5. Map Out Your Business Sustainability

Major significant paradigm shifts are happening as we speak that impact sector from consumer and retail to manufacturing, life sciences, and automotive. 

Your No. 1 business concern is undoubtedly how well you manage your cash flow after this pandemic. It is time to develop a treasury plan for cash management using a robust framework in managing supply chain risk. Monitor your cost escalations, and its pressure towards certain customers, suppliers, contractors, or alliance partners.  

You can instil short-term cash flow monitoring discipline which allows you to predict your cash flow pressures and intervene in a timely manner. Most importantly, consider creative and out-of-the-box solutions in solving crises, or else you risk being vulnerable to the financial stress that can potentially harm you in long-term implications. 

While things may look all grim, more good has also come out of it. Stronger collaboration has transpired across teams and more productive routines are enforced with more positive health practices.  

Here in this current world that we are in, all organisations’ status is almost equal, if not reset back to square one. Till we find the vaccine, let us all heed the Ernest and Young’s Christopher Mack’s advice:

“Organisations that operate with transparency and open communication have an inherent advantage when events require quick actions to react and reshape.”

 

Remember to stay safe and stay well everyone!

AUTHOR: Michell Lee
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