COVID Affects to Workplace Performance
Twelve to eighteen months ago 2020 strategic plans were being set out and goals were being identified, many with growth projections, new contract wins, and major deliverables outlined among a few of the goals many had in mind for the year. However, as we have seen in this year so far it is not unlikely that many of your strategic annual goals will not be fully realized. While some of the goals may slide into 2021 with little updates, some will benefit from being updated and even more so it will be important to think about performance success in different ways.
While revenue and growth targets may be easily translated into 2021, thinking through other ways of organizational and company success can be beneficial. Implementing new technology and communication tools came out of necessity earlier in the year, but this may be an area to explore further. Many new solutions and services have come out of the current environment that can meet needs or struggles you have faced with moving to a primarily remote workforce. Additionally, it may be time to think through automating some of your workflows that used to require paper documentation. For example, think about the benefits of introducing an employee self-service HR system that can greatly reduce paperwork, allow for faster on-boarding and communication.
Your goals may have also led to increasing staff in response to increased projected revenue, but your teams been affected by the changing environment as well. Prior to COVID, many managers and leaders hesitant to introduce telework and remote work policies were concerned about accountability and availability of their teams. These concerns may still be present, but also may transition to concerns of lack of communication and collaboration if now working completely remote. Clear expectations and touch points between managers and employees now may need to be more intentional, rather than ad hoc as before. Further, how do you engage your employees when work happy hours, birthday celebrations, and all-hands meetings feel so different? Finding new ways to continue the company’s traditions, along with new ways to engage teams will be important in navigating on-going employee satisfaction. Developing a virtual class schedule that could include yoga, painting, happy hours or other topics may be a way to give employees a break from work while showing their value to the organization.
As the basics of health, safety, stability and security of employees are in order to many COVID reactions in the workplace, it is now time to evolve and find the next phase of what success looks like in this new way of operations. New systems, technologies, and engagement techniques will be ways to differentiate yourself in the industry and should be incorporated into the new 2021 strategic plans.