We’ve seen it before, and we will most likely see it again; businesses thinking that being frozen like a deer in headlights is the answer as the MAC truck comes plowing towards them at 70 MPH. Worse yet, being greedy demons seizing an opportunity to have an excuse to cut overhead (aka human beings) in order to increase profit margins and cash flow.
For any business that is interested, let me clue you in to some real opportunities to be not only prepared for when things do settle down, but be ahead of the game.
1. Hire, hire, hire!
This is not the time for HR and Recruiting to hit the pause button on productivity. This is a time to look at the obvious, more qualified people who can fill historically challenging roles are now at home with more time on their hands. They will respond to genuine reach out of interests for phone screens and video interviews. They will be impressed by your companies adaptability and resourcefulness, if you’re adaptable and resourceful. Beef up your resources when it comes to human power sourcing and screening. Build your employer brand by getting the word out there that you’re alive, well and continuing to move forward in a thoughtful, technology strong way.
Leadership, don’t waste your time worrying about whether or not you’re newly remote working employees are getting the job done. Trust that they are. Focus on staying true to deadlines but give your people the flexibility everyone needs right now to build out their own schedules, even if it is out of the standard work day or week.
Leadership, take advantage of this time to evaluate. Evaluate if a remote model, or at least a remote hybrid should be permanent. You might see in the data that your employee production has not only become more efficient but improved your bottom line. Keep things in mind like the significant reduction in the cost of office space, improved culture, and so much more. Evaluate your overall business structure, the roles of leadership, and ask yourself if you are adequately staffed to accomplish your goals, your arsenal of supplemental solutions, emergency financial plans for economic crisis.
4. Embrace Technology
I will now age myself with a 90s quote, “Resistance is futile.” For all the companies who have avoided remote working, cloud based suites, still love stationary PCs, landlines and water cooler talk; the Technology Gods have now taken you by force. The world you knew it to be will never return so seize this opportunity evolve. Go beyond the bare minimum of laptops, (archaic) VPNs, call forwarding and Microsoft products (sorry, sad but true). Don’t be desperate for in person marathon meetings and the belief that operational jobs need to be in office. Embrace social media, apps, cloud based everything, go paperless, hold video conference calls in jeans/leggings, issue cell phones, chat, sh*t go crazy, hire and love millennials! I do.
5. Be Innovative
Come to terms with every job can be tied to tracked production and identify new workforce planning models. The days of old (and I mean real old) where people work on salary, some weeks with 20 hours worth of work to do and others with 70 makes no sense on so many levels. To me this just spells laziness by leadership to not have solid plans that they can distribute weekly work loads to consistently have employees perform 40 hours worth of work in their role. Trust me, it is possible to create an innovative business model focused on productivity, efficiency and flexibility- I DID IT.
6. Be the Example
Every person, regardless of role should see themselves as an example to every other person they work with. Be accountable to your emotional impacts on a team’s ability to be productive. Be conscious to the words you choose, your body language. Be a solution provider instead of a problem dweller. Your example is infectious, be it positive or negative.
Are you a deer, demon or intelligent business leader? Your call.