Re-engaging Your Team and Organization Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The article addresses the rigorous steps needed in order to comprehensively re-engage your team and operations amid and after the Covid Pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge to the entire world. It would be expected that companies, world-wide would struggle with getting back to normal or in most cases getting to a new normal.
If you are like most organization leaders, you are spending significant time and effort strategizing regarding when and how to re-engage your organization. Even if you have already started the process, you are probably contemplating whether you have included all the right steps in effort. We have developed a 7- Step process for you to re-engage your team in a healthy and considerate manner.
1. Review and Assess Your Business State
The COVID crisis has left many potential impacts on businesses.
• Some of the business challenges have obviously included financial constraints and deficits. However, other challenges exist as well. Some others include:
• supply shortages,
• inept technology needed for broad-scale remote work,
• leadership and/or team skill deficit that is exacerbated in a remote environment,
• lack of change and adaptation organizational maturity,
• processes are outdated in the potential “new normal,”
• lack of employee engagement
• insufficient “COVID safety” in work environment
• Employee and Stakeholder Anxiety regarding COVID.
• and increased customer attrition rates, to name a few.
Given the countless challenges that many organizations are facing, it is critical to assess the current state of the organization. Many organizations that were in a progressively healthy state, financially and operationally, are not currently. Your organization should have a clear picture regarding the state of condition regarding various elements that include, but are not limited to those of a financial, people, technology, customer service, and operational nature.
2. Assess Perspectives of Stakeholders, including Employees
There is the broad, high-level view that is seen by leaders, as discussed in step 1. Step two entails assessing the state including challenges, needs and desires of stakeholders. Such stakeholders include customers, employees, board of directors, etc. Assess their perspective of the state of the organization. What has been working? What has been seen with significant challenges? Have employees been engaged properly. Are the Board of Directors content with current plans of operations? Is there alignment regarding when employees should return to the office among the stakeholders? An exhaustive exploration should be conducted to avoid unnecessary opposition and/or obstacles in the process.
3. Define Size of Impact and related Implications
Once an organization identifies the state of the business including elements impacting all stakeholders, it is important to ensure that sizing of the impacts is conducted, including related implications. For example, if there is a shortage of a certain supply, how much less are you able to produce of what requires that item? What are the potential opportunity costs?
4. Determine Appropriate Business Strategy
Once you have identified the size of the impacts that have been produced by challenges facing the business, directly, as well as related stakeholders, it is imperative that your organization identifies needed solutions and contingencies to inform an overall business strategy. The strategic approach of the business should include what a “new normal” may look like. For example, what alternative supplies may be used? How should the organizational structure be adjusted? Is it still appropriate? Should the building capacity remain the same in the long-term or does the organization realize that they could plan an eventual downsize in facility space?
5. Develop Comprehensive Action Plan Steps
Once a general business strategy has been developed, the detailed steps needed to carry out the strategy will be needed. The action plan will ensure that there is are detailed steps provided to methodically execute the needed steps for the organization’s stabilization and/or transformation.
It is important to prioritize accordingly. This addresses what is important to the organization as well as when resources will be available to carry out certain steps.
The timing should not only be gradual based upon available resources and importance to the organization, but also based upon the pace and maturity of the organization. Some organizations are used to moving at 100 miles per hour, while others are more comfortable at 50 miles per hour. Additionally, the organization wants to gradually implement decisions like employees returning to the office to ensure that any missed steps or challenges are addressed with a smaller group, prior to the entire organization returning. This approach can be viewed similar to the pilot roll-out of any new major organizational effort.
With any new process, it is helpful to assign champions within the organization to help with the adjustment. Naturally, your leaders are champions. However, it helps to identify other influential team players who are well respected and connected in the organization to expedite communication and support.
6. Implement the Action Plan
Once the action plan is developed, its time to implement. Like any other project, there should be close tracking to understand the appropriate timing of needed steps, assessing the adequate level of resources and other support that may be identified as needed.
7. Monitor. Adjust. Maintain. Repeat.
Ultimately, your organization will need to continue to monitor and track the performance of the plan and other items that arise that will need to be addressed. For example, many predict resurges of the COVID virus. What will your organization do? Your team will need to be prepared to adjust to the inevitable unknown. When what is working is recognized, its important to maintain it. Maintain it by carefully documenting and storing the process, while institutionalizing it, by making it required in the future. While we would all love predictable endings. This is nothing that can be guaranteed. So, your organization must aim to build maturity in flexible adaptation.
Please let us know if we may help in any way. We wish the best to you in this challenging endeavor.