Balancing today against the future
While the long-term impacts of COVID-19 remain unknown, organizations are facing increasing pressure to return to normal operations. Business leaders must balance that pressure with ensuring employee safety and maintaining, or rebuilding, high employee morale.
Leaders are also wrestling to balance potentially disruptive short-term decisions that may be financially necessary but will have to be reconsidered in the future. For example:
“We had to lay off a number of people due to the uncertainty about what’s happening in the next few months, but now we’re thinking about how to expand our workforce once business rebounds.”
“Where should I focus— salvaging 2020 or investing now to be well positioned for 2021? Or both?”
“We’re redirecting our investments to supply chains in returning markets while shutting down others.”
Many leaders are also taking a hard look at their key initiatives to determine which will bring the largest ROI in the near term versus those that yield longer term benefits.
6 actions leaders can take to rebound quickly
Companies prepared to recover in the least amount of time will gain the most market share once business re-opens.
Prepare for business as [un]usual
Understand the risks involved in returning to ‘normal’. Follow the guidance from public health experts and be able to flex as state and local mandates are updated. Look forward and revise strategies and roadmaps for the next 18 months. Design your re-opening safety guidelines.
Hit the ground running by gaining approvals on re-opening procedures, updated business plans, budgets, and organizational changes. Test your safety plans.
Assess your portfolio
Identify which initiatives need to go forward immediately based on revised fiscal targets and strategies. Plan your workforce based on the new realities.
Establish new governance
Virtual teams working with in-office teams will be a ‘given’ in the post-COVID-19 world and governance models must reflect this. Clearly communicate HR policies regarding remote working. Make sure your organization is nimble enough to make quick decisions and pivot when necessary.
Build monitoring & framework
Success for the company and for individual initiatives may look different now. Reporting needs to reflect new expectations and benchmarks. And data will need to be sliced in new ways, quickly. Develop tools and tracking to support fast, informed executive decision making.
Keep your priorities clear as you kickoff new initiatives and restart paused work. Phasing by benefits targets and focusing on employee health and morale will ensure an orderly, swift re-opening and strong rebound.
Uncertainty is bad for business. – Dinesh Paliwal