The pandemic has struck hard at all commercial activities. Many businesses are at standstill in terms of their revenue flows and operation, however, they cannot wish away the costs. Business owners have been dipping into their savings and raising debt capital to honour their commitments on essential spends like staff salaries, rentals and subscriptions. However, this cannot go on for long. We were used to operating in a situation where a single day’s break from operations was viewed as a huge loss. This one has been a break of over a month and hence, one can imagine the intensity of the pain. There is no way other than getting back to work soon.
Explain to the employees
Employees are concerned about their health and safety. Some of them have started assuming that their salaries are guaranteed until the pandemic goes away. If we were to go by the recent statements from WHO, the pandemic is far from being over, rather its grip is going to be strong for a few more weeks. We cannot eradicate this disease, neither can we immunise ourselves to keep the disease away. At the same time, we need our sources of livelihood to stay relevant so that we can care for our future.
Countries have forced a lockdown on their citizens and businesses to reduce contact among human beings and contain the spread of the virus. Humankind has understood how to contain the spread of the virus and keep it away. During the lockdown period, we have practised coexisting with the virus; and for now, we have to adopt this as a part of our new normal. We need to instil confidence in our employees that the new normal is one of co-existence.
We have to do it together
Organisations are microcosms of society and are composed of the people who make it one. Leaders have to understand the concerns and sentiments of their employees. They have to bring everyone onto the same page so that plans are jointly developed for work to resume, demand recreated, supply chain rebooted and all safe practices followed.
Not only do we have to develop new norms of safety and refine operating to make the workplace safe but we also have to educate our people and train them. Our actions have to be directed towards the well-being of our employees and their families. The entire organisation has to feel positive and confident that we are taking the right steps.
You can find our recommendations as companies plan resumption of work here: https://www.cielhr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Workplace-Guideline-post-lockdown-by-CIEL-April-2020.pdf
Plug the gaps
Post lockdown, companies will find various gaps right from their stock of raw materials to people and demand for their products and services. Filling the gaps is going to occupy the bandwidth of leaders across the organisational pyramid. No amount of preparation is going to be adequate. Still, planning is a must. And the entire organisation has to be pressed on this to ensure that they are able to contribute to start thinking about various ways of plugging the gaps and take some actions in advance. Involving employees across the organisation could lead to innovative and unconventional solutions which might not have crossed the minds of the senior management. These are critical interventions for staging a comeback. We have to get our mojo back and thrive well!