We talk about change being really difficult, employees just won’t bend, they won’t adapt, they don’t like change, yet all of a sudden, they are being forced to, their livelihoods depend on them being able to adapt to new ways of working.
There’s a generation of employees in the manufacturing industry who like things the way they’ve always been but suddenly their beloved paper-based systems are being brought online, they're being asked to take part in video conferences and it's pushing the limits of their IT skills, not to mention highlighting the number of double chins they have! It's all very stressful.
But guess what, they will figure it out, their IT skills will improve, they will learn things they never knew they could do and they'll get used to looking at themselves on a screen every day. In fact, they’ll probably be really pleased with themselves when all is said and done.
What it also proves is that these people are capable of adapting to change, when they have to! They had you fooled!
So, is it too early to be thinking about what you’re going to do when things return to normal?
For me, it presents a fantastic opportunity for employers. For the following reasons;
1. It’s a fresh start – when, in our lifetime, have we had this break in normal operation? An opportunity to come back to work with a bang and rally the troops like never before!! Get your back to work speech prepared!
2. It’s an opportunity to say a massive thank you – are you keep track of the fantastic, business-saving work your employees are doing right now? Your people are pulling out all the stops so it is vitally important to say a big thank you. (Talk to me about incentive schemes)
3. It’s an opportunity to learn from the new ways of working – what are you going to keep? Have you actually stumbled upon a better way of doing things? Remote working isn't so bad after all? Take stock, think about what has gone well and what you could have done differently if it were to ever happen again.
4. It’s an opportunity to think about your values – have you lived them during this crisis? Or have you made a total mockery of them because when push came to shove you just panicked and communication turned to garbage! You might want to have a think about how you are going to face your team!
So if nothing else, take some time to think about these things, think about how your workforce are going to feel when they return and what it might mean for your culture. Don't miss the opportunity to boost your business and get your employees working for you in the best way possible. After all, our economy is certainly going to need successful, thriving businesses after all this.