How employers can adjust to life after Covid-19

Amy O'Neill
Amy O'Neill
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Let’s be honest here, we’ve all had a tough year (and a bit).

Almost every sector of the market was forced to adapt to new regulations and restrictions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Millions of people were furloughed or lost jobs, while others adjusted to working from home as offices nationwide closed.

Forward-thinking CXOs that had taken steps prior to 2020 to safeguard their business were able to cope with the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 through experienced and informed leadership, resilience, and leveraging advanced technology to streamline their work force.

Despite all this, around two-thirds of CXOs still don’t feel completely ready to lead their workers through whatever is to come in the aftermath of the pandemic. This finding comes from the 2021 Deloitte Global Resilience Report, which also uncovered that 70% of business leaders are worried over their organisations’ ability to pivot and adapt to future events similar to the Covid crisis.

This isn’t something we should ignore, especially as a recent McKinsey report predicts that there will be more challenges on the horizon. They found that 25% more workers than previously estimated were faced with the potential of switching occupations during the pandemic.

For example, the hospitality industry is struggling to recover following a sector-wide exodus of workers – and might not fully recover for almost another half-decade.

So, what do you do if you’re a CXO looking to get your business back on its feet and lead your workers through the next few months of unsettling changes?

Deloitte’s global report highlighted a number of key characteristics demonstrated by resilient business in 2020 – and we’re going to break down the top 3 for you right here:

 

  1. Preparation

There’s an old saying that prevention is better than the cure. Companies that already had remote or flexible working practices in place before the pandemic were the least affected by WFH guidelines, and have been able to recover quicker than larger companies who were slow to integrate applications like Slack and Zoom into their systems.

The takeaway here is: don’t get left behind. While you might not be able to predict the next global health crisis (really, why would you want to?), you can plan for the worst while also hoping for the best. If you haven’t integrated workflow and project management technology into your existing system – now is the time to get on that.

  1. Adaptability

Almost all the business leaders surveyed in Deloitte’s report pointed to flexibility/adaptability as the most essential workforce trait which helped direct their organisation’s actions during the pandemic. More than preparation, the ability to adapt to unforeseen challenges is an important practice for any business.

Having specific action plans in place to safeguard future revenue is a must, while diversifying your promotional channels will also help the organisation tackle future disruptions. It’s all about learning to pivot and play to your strengths. To that end, building a team with a diverse range of experience and backgrounds should be seen as a critical next step, as you’ll be able to tackle any future crisis from multiple perspectives.

  1. Trustworthiness

Most business leaders understand the necessity of building trust, yet more than a third of Deloitte’s responding CXOs felt that they had failed to develop trust between their organisation’s leaders and employees. Companies that are succeeding and growing during the pandemic have focused their efforts on improving communication and transparency at every level of the business, as well as making a concerted effort to be more empathetic and understanding with their workers.

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