11 Proven Strategies to Bring Back Your Business in 2020
People-centric companies see this crisis period as a silver lining to make irrevocable changes to their work environment. Many organizations are striving to maintain their productivity and engage their workforce in these unprecedented times. Rather than waiting for the lockdown to get over and planning to get back the workforce on office premises, companies are proactive in devising plans and strategies to bring back the business and sustain despite these disruptive changes.
The legendary kids’ tale characters Hansel and Gretel lost their way and got themselves into bigger trouble as they used bread crumbs that can be easily eaten away by birds and other animals. They should’ve used the same white pebbles to find their way back. Shouldn’t we be doing the same with the businesses too? Instead of throwing and following bread crumbs to reach our business objectives, what we need now is white pebbles that help us find the glorious path.
Here are 11 proven strategies that are like stones for you to bring back your business.
Set Clear Expectations and Goals
Like Hansel and Gretel, you should be clear of what your goal is. For them, it is getting back home. For organizations, in this COVID situation, the goal could be to restore normalcy in their workplaces. If that is your objective, you should think about how to achieve the objective: the key results. This, Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is the popular goals management methodology that is gaining momentum as all companies need an effective goal-setting technique to bounce back. In the OKR tool, the departments can align their goals with organizational objectives and work harder.
Two researchers, Katzel and Guzzo, experimented with goal setting and concluded that goal-setting improved productivity in 95% of their experiments. When employees are clear of what is expected out of them, they stay focused and work harder to achieve the goal within the stipulated time.
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- OKR playbook – A guide to ‘How to Implement OKR in your Team?’
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- 4 Best Practices From Harry Potter To Manage And Engage a Remote Workforce
Giving Inputs at the Right Moment
A study asserts that the millennial workforce expects weekly feedback. By 2025, millennials will make up to 75% of the global workforce. To retain your high performers, especially in this chaotic situation, continuous check-ins are the key. After the completion of each project or key result, the managers should give feedback to the employees to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses and also to improve themselves. The year-end feedback ritual is like the witch in Hansel and Gretel as it does not allow the company to flourish and always hinders growth by disengaging employees. Regular check-ins allow you to quantitatively measure progress toward objectives.
Leadership is not an Easy Skill
Managers cannot stay like the father in Hansel and Gretel at home and waiting for their employees to successfully bring back business to the normal state. Managers should guide consistently like a coach and should not order around like a boss. When delivering feedback, managers should not yell at the employees, instead, they should appreciate the achievements and highlight the areas of improvement. Besides, provide learning opportunities and arrange customized training plans to make employees bridge the gaps in their performance.
Choose Right Talents for the Right Job
Before assigning talents to a particular project or task, create a visual representation of the skills in the teams and develop an accurate job description to find the right talents for the work. You cannot assign a graphic designer who has no expertise in UI or UX to do UI for a product. Prior experience and skills have to be taken into consideration before giving a job to an employee. Field experts can perform the job quicker and increase the productivity which amateurs cannot do.
Employee Training and Development Plans
Amateurs can become experts through proper training and development. Amateurs are mediocre as they do not have proper leaders to help them identify their areas of improvement and provide learning opportunities. Tailor the development plans based on each employee’s profile and skill set. When the learning mindset is cultivated and nurtured in the employees’ minds, everyone will be an expert in a particular skill in an organization. Such organizations will come up with innovative ideas for the customers, expand their territory, and also battle any storm.
Empower your Employees with the Right Tools
Technology has become the savior of the IT sector in this unexpected pandemic outbreak. Many manufacturing companies are shut down and sectors like tourism, hospitality have been hit hugely. That is because the manufacturing companies, tourism, and hospital require employees on office premises to continue production and human-to-human interaction to ensure business continuity.
In the IT sector, cloud technology has allowed people to interact with one another from their homes. They can continue to work from their homes without their work being interrupted. But imagine, what if the employees do not have the right tools to perform the task and collaborate? Organizations should set up the right infrastructure and provide them the required tools. For example, for collaboration and communication, tools such as Synergita, Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams help. For graphic designing, Adobe creative cloud tools should be given.
Failure should Become a Standard
Innovation is a result of experimentation. Do not reprimand an employee when he/she fails trying a new method, then, no employee would suggest ideas or ways to take the company forward. Encourage the employees even if they fail experimenting to make innovation the new norm. Teach employees to set a stretch goal and tell employees that they are on the path of success only if they fail trying hard. If you easily achieve your stretch goal, you are not ambitious enough and innovative. Fail fast, learn fast, keep trying, and achieve: this should be your mantra.
Autonomy and Accountability Reduces Employee Turnover
No business can afford to lose its employees in this critical period. To bring back your business, you need the strong support of employees. This is also not the time to micromanage your employees and their tasks. Permit your employees to take responsibility so that they stay engaged and committed to their work. Focus on the outcomes rather than the employees’ schedules and nagging them. Empower your employees by letting them set their individual goals that align with the business objectives. Research asserts that autonomy reduces employee turnover and increases engagement.
Employee Engagement is the seed for growth
Research shows that disengaged employees in the United States cost their employers between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion each year due to lost productivity. Engage your employees through recognition and rewards. Recognize the efforts of high performers and reward them based on their needs. Recognition and continuous check-ins are much needed even in the new age of remote working to answer the perplexing question, ‘how do I perform?’ of employees. If your employees continue to work remotely, you can also engage them with other activities like everyday Zoom calls, virtual coffee breaks, regular one-on-one meetings, ideas discussion sessions.
An effective performance management system is the key to engage employees and promote growth.
Data is the New Oil of Digital Economy
Measuring progress in numbers to make informed strategic decisions that lead your company toward growth and development. Accurate insights and reliable data enable you to learn the impacts of your strategy on your employees and your product on your customers. With data, there is no unpredictability in business. You can foresee the upcoming economic and business challenges and prepare your company beforehand. Eliminate the pen and paper approach in your business operations and adopt technology to keep a record of your past and calculate the future.
A Work Culture of Open Communication
Transparent and open communication can increase the efficiency of employees. The goals can be set by the top management, but the inputs of employees on the frontline should be taken to decide how to achieve the goals. This is possible only if a culture of open communication and transparency is fostered. Management and employees should work hand in hand to help businesses bounce back with more power.