Future Proofing Your Business – Becoming Agile and Responsive in time of Crisis
Corona Virus (COVID-19) is the latest global issue affecting businesses. It isn’t the first and it certainly won’t be the last. Whether it is the threat of a virus or an economic slowdown the key for business is to have the culture, policies and protocols in place for responding to external forces that may impact the ways in which we work or the cost of business. Here are a few critical areas to consider when planning to future proof your business and ensure it can continue to perform no matter the external impacting forces:
- Establish policies to protect both employees and your business
Review and understand the current requirements for businesses across all relevant areas especially WHS, sick leave, personal leave and flexible work practices. There are certain legal requirements for businesses however there are also opportunities to establish workplace policies that allow for responsiveness to changing circumstances for both employees and the business. This can be an overwhelming task! The first step is to consider your approaches and identify trigger points for internal policy changes.
Some businesses may even consider moving ahead in their policy planning by assessing the impact of a potential recession and planning for a reduction in business costs.
- Create a strategy that is adaptable, agile and flexible
Most businesses will have a 3 – 5 year medium term strategy with an associated annual business plan. What should be considered is allowing space and time to review this strategy and take into consideration the changing economic and market challenges and opportunities that are facing your business. Create an interim strategy and business plan that allows for responsiveness and flexibility to ensure the business can remain relevant and capitalise on new opportunities being created. As part of this, look to establish ways of working, products and services to maintain relevance during difficult times.
- Manage and motivate a remote workforce
The impacts of Corona virus mean that many businesses may need to adapt their workforce to allow for remote work. Employees may be quarantined, held up due to travel bans or place themselves in self isolation. Likewise, school and childcare closures may require parents to stay at home to provide care. With these real scenarios starting to play out in Australia, business should establish plans, policies and educate teams around the working practices required to optimise performance and mitigate the risks associated with a remote workforce. The modern-day world already allows for sufficient flexible working practices and there are numerous successful businesses underpinned by a remote workforce. TalentCode HR is no exception to this!
Aside from considering and adapting policies, updating insurances and liabilities it is critical that leaders understand and have the capability and frameworks to manage and motivate a remote workforce in order to maintain productivity. Creating clarity of roles, establishing an accountability framework and regular remote team meetings are just the foundations of keeping a remote team engaged and focused.
- Develop a business continuity plan
While we certainly aren’t suggesting you stockpile toilet paper, hand sanitiser and canned goods we do recommend creating a business continuity plan. On a more serious note, if your place of work is not able to provide toilet paper this creates a hygiene issue that may deem the place of work unfit. This shouldn’t just take into account Corona virus but consider multiple external factors that could impact your business in the current global climate. Establish a dedicated team to drive this, they should be considering a few key areas:
- Employee welfare and ability of employees to effectively perform their roles
- Financial stress-testing and clarity on business trigger points and options
- Rapid response plans
- Long term contingency plans, sales and marketing tactics and customer engagement
Most important with any contingency planning is to stress test and refine it to ensure that it meets objectives in critical moments.
- Manage employee Stress, resilience and well-being
Go back to basics and create some stability for employees in these crazy, empty shelved uncertain times. With everything being spun in the news and the doom and gloom of a recession experts are throwing around, consider your employees’ welfare and offer fundamental training in stress management, mental toughness, resilience and wellbeing. This will support them on both a professional and personal level and have positive impacts on culture and performance, which ultimately will have a positive impact on the business. If you are interested in accessing a free training video on Resilience and Stress Management to share with your employees, please click here.
Overall, ensuring the preparation and pre-planning is in place, your business can ensure it is ready to act and weather the storms as they arrive. TalentCode HR can provide you support in all areas outlined above and offer expertise and guidance in a range of areas including:
- HR policy and compliance
- Strategic planning and implementation
- Business continuity and contingency planning
- Creating a culture of accountability and high performance
- Effectively managing and motivating remote workforces
- Stress management, resilience and mental toughness training
If you have any questions about the potential impacts or actions you should be taking to future proof your business please don’t hesitate to reach out.