CEOs planning to reintegrate back to regular business need a plan that maintains safety, manages resources, and rebuilds morale. If mishandled, reintroduction back into office life can be catastrophic. Return to work programs are essential for businesses to have a fruitful return. For many, the toughest leadership test is now looming: how to bring a business back in an environment where a vaccine has yet to be found and economies are still reeling.
As businesses around the world consider how they can return from the torment inflicted by the coronavirus, leaders struggle to find their way to the “next normal” by using: resolve, resilience, reimagination, and reform to plan their next move. In order to come back stronger, companies should reimagine their business model as they return to full speed. The moment is not to be lost: those who step up their game will be better off and far more ready to confront the challenges—and opportunities—of the next normal than those who do not.
At Ascendo Resources, we care about the safety and health of our employees, clients, and candidates. Please read 6 essential considerations we came up with to ensure a successful transition back to work:
1. Employee Rotation Schedule
Returning to a shared workplace represents a huge risk for the spreading and contracting of viruses. When it comes to COVID-19, it really is a numbers game. Managing the number of workers will be critical to protecting workplace health. Establish a rotating schedule in which a group of employees work from the office every few days. Create these groups across functional lines, both to ensure coverage across roles and to support employee distancing.
2. Maintain Some Remote Work
With schools not opening until the following school year and many summer camps not being open, organizations need to access their employees’ circumstances as for some coming into the office may not be feasible. In some regions where the COVID-19 thread is still high, employers may elect to keep their staff working from home. For both financial and practical reasons, companies may decide to rethink their business models to reduce their on-site workforce. A reduction in office space may help reduce cost and maintain employees employed.
3. Reconfigure Office Spaces
Reopening of workplaces will not remove all restrictions imposed during COVID-19. Businesses will still need to observe regulations governing social distancing, employee gatherings and hygiene practices. Businesses will need to be proactive in reconfiguring their office spaces. Open floor plans are a thing of the past! All shared spaces should have at least 6 feet between employees, desks should be divided and there should be clear markers directing traffic. Redesigning physical workspaces to comply with social distancing requirements is critical to the reopening of any business.
4. Rebuild Morale
Being away from the workplace for months and returning to a less than ideal situation can significantly affect morale. A lot has changed, and the fear and uncertainty may take a while to dissipate. It is imperative that businesses acknowledge any employee concerns and dispiritedness and treat announcements regarding the new operating environment with sensitivity. Now more than ever, leaders need to reward achievements, conduct team-building activities to lift spirits and paint a positive vision of the future. Successful businesses thrive on motivated workforces, so it is important leaders invest in efforts to rebuild workplace morale.
5. Improve Communication
The pandemic crisis forced organizations to adopt forms of communications they had never used before. Don’t stop now! The initiatives taken and the progress made with technology should continue seamlessly. Keeping all lines of communication open will help the adaptation process back into the office easier. Maintaining a regular frequency of communications also provides reassurance to employees who will naturally have questions about the future of the business and their roles. In addition, employee surveys should also be introduced to capture workplace sentiment around how staff are feeling and what they need.
6. Recover Revenue
It may not be enough for companies to recover revenues gradually; they must rethink their revenue profile and get ahead of the competition. This may require for them to have a start-up mindset and encourage agility and accountability. The acceleration of technology tools and analytics may also play a big role in analyzing data and increasing production. Better and faster insight will yield faster decisions and lessen the risk. Organizations must determine their customers’ “new” needs and work fast to fulfill them. Adaptability is key during a crisis and in some cases non-traditional collaborations and partnerships may need to be considered. Companies must identify their primary sources of revenue and capitalize on those now more than ever. Adjusting service pricing, investing on proven-growth resources, reskilling support staff, automating processes and remaining flexible are just some of the adjustments they may have to make in order to survive.
Finally, urgency is key! During the on-set of the pandemic, businesses were forced to act faster than ever to adjust to the new normal and remain afloat. Maintaining that same sense of urgency is a competitive advantage. Problem-solving has become essential to those businesses that have managed to reinvent themselves.
For companies around the world, imagination, leadership, and on-the field execution will be paramount as they consider how to navigate the post-COVID-19 environment. Business as usual will not be nearly enough: the game has changed too much. But by reimagining how they recover, operate, organize, and use technology, even as they return to work, companies can set the foundations for enduring success.
At Ascendo, we are continuing to proactively work with our clients to fill positions with qualified candidates, while remaining mindful of the current COVID-19 situation. We are also leveraging technology for interviews via video conferencing in order for our employees, candidates, and community to remain safe.
For more information about how we can help you during this time of uncertainty, please contact Ascendo Resources today.