2020 was a crazy year, and with crazy times comes a lot of learning. When the pandemic began, we were experiencing very high employment and a solid economy. Within the course of a few months, we experienced high unemployment, with many people, particularly in hospitality and food service, losing their jobs. Supply chains broke down, grocery shelves emptied, and we quarantined. A new remote workforce emerged, and managers had to adapt to what became, for now, a new kind of normal. With all these changes came lessons. What can managers take away from what we learned last year? How can we use that to our advantage?
1. Our New Digital Mindset
We’ve accelerated our digitization. Remote work, video conferencing, and a new shift toward a digital mindset have stretched across all businesses in all industries. Businesses stopped flying to close deals. Doctors conducted patient encounters by telemedicine. Recruiters interviewed and coworkers collaborated from their home offices. What we’ve learned is that organizations are benefiting from their new remote workforces. Employees are more productive. Employers save money on overhead costs. There are win/wins inherent in these new work models.
2. Proactively Preparing for Disruption
Last year’s black swan event taught managers the value of proactive business planning. Planning for business continuity despite any unforeseen challenges is the new normal for business leadership. Traditional business disaster planning focused on natural disasters, fires, or other “normal” crises; what we learned is that our proactive business strategies should prepare us for just about anything that could occur. Organizations must develop supply chain redundancies and alternative planning that can quickly launch no matter the crisis.
3. Ask “What If” for Scenario Planning
A big lesson from 2020 was that our businesses are globally connected, no matter how small. Supply chains are interconnected in ways that impact companies in every sector. Looking at your company now in the wake of 2020 will likely change how you begin to think about what could happen and how to adjust your business accordingly. We saw organizations retool operations to manufacture face shields and an entire restaurant industry change how they do business. Healthcare providers built up a telemedicine business. Teachers learned to provide online education. The big lesson for business providers, given the past year, is that agility, creativity, and flexibility can help you weather any storm.
4. Invest in Your Employees
In the past year, managers learned that investing in their workforce will yield big results to benefit the organization. We’ve heard plenty of stories about how our workforce has adjusted, become productive, and risen to the challenges they’ve faced. It’s a good time for employers to reinvest in their workforce to build up stronger teams with the skills you’ll need for long after the pandemic is over.
The Custom Group of Companies helps employers find talent. Let’s talk about how we can help you harness what you’ve learned and apply it to your success. Call on us.
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