How to prepare for the new normal
As businesses throughout Utah begin to reopen and develop a new sense of normal, many employers are considering best practices for returning safely to work, as well as preparing projections and forecasts for the remainder of the year. Business leaders are faced with the challenge of balancing social distancing orders and health guidelines, along with adjusting business efforts to focus on recovery. The uncertainty of the foreseeable future will likely require an increased emphasis on business flexibility, as well as a continued focus on employee needs and health considerations.
As employees return to the office, employers may consider implementing the following tips to prepare for the new normal:
Throughout the last several months, many companies adapted by conducting daily business operations and workplace connections virtually. The workforce, along with consumer behavior and industry trends, will likely reflect these changes moving forward, at least temporarily, and some industries may even see permanent adjustments.
Before returning to business as usual, company leaders should consider how the organization may need to revise existing policies and procedures to meet any new needs of clients. This may involve an increase in virtual communication, an updated approach to marketing or an innovative adjustment to existing services. Taking time to evaluate and adapt to industry trends and changes can help businesses remain competitive.
Determine workforce necessities
The pandemic has required both employers and employees to rethink workforce needs, determining the tools, policies, and skills required to keep business moving through uncertain times. As teams transition back into the office, it is important for organizations to consider structural and team weaknesses that may have surfaced during the extended stay-at-home period. Business leaders should solicit staff members for honest feedback regarding work-life balance, stress levels and productivity to determine where to invest immediate and future attention. If employers have a grasp on how policies impacted both managers and team members during this time, they may be better prepared to make necessary adjustments moving forward.
Prioritize workplace culture
Employers may consider supporting new initiatives centered around workplace culture to reboot employee engagement and create a new sense of normalcy as businesses transition to a recovery mode. While some organizations may have introduced creative ways to keep teams connected virtually during this time, it is important to consider that not all individuals may feel comfortable with the transition to virtual communication. Some employees may be on the edge of burnout! To reboot employee engagement, company leaders may even consider an increased focus on mental health, more frequent communication among team members, and regular opportunities for feedback.
Identify what worked
The last several months have presented each industry with new challenges, threatening the livelihood of many organizations across Utah. As companies reevaluate goals and create projections for the rest of year, it is important to recognize the areas in which an organization performed well. For some, this may be a particular technology or communication system which proved successful, while for others, it may be a service or product that the team was able to quickly redevelop to meet the changing needs of clientele. Business leaders should determine where the unique advantage of the organization lies, and continue to seek new ways to develop its foundation of success within the company. Pinpointing what worked, as well as noting what didn’t, may help businesses better prepare to handle crises in the future.
Build on experience
While many business leaders are hoping for a smooth transition back to normalcy, some experts project that a second wave of the virus may resurface. Companies should continue to follow health guidelines and recommendations, prioritizing safety during this time. While some may feel pressure to immediately focus efforts on making up for decreased revenue in Q2, without taking the time to develop a plan should the pandemic continue, organizations may find themselves struggling even more the second time around. Companies can better prepare for the future by remaining flexible, developing a plan, and communicating policies and expectations to ensure both teams and supervisors are ready should Utah administer new business regulations later this year.
While it may take time to fully rebuild the economy, there is much that can be learned from the way businesses responded during, and following, the global pandemic. With proper focus and revaluation, this time of transition can allow many businesses the opportunity to reinvest in the fundamentals of their organization and prepare for the coming months and years to come.