Now is the time to think about how you are going to grow your business, after the lockdown.
Set out your goals
The current disruption being experienced by businesses across the world is a huge challenge. However, it may also be an opportunity for your firm. Start by thinking about your current market position; ie, where would you like your firm to be in 12 months’ time?
Take some time to set out your key business objectives for the next year including the key deliverables that you will need to focus on each month.
Is there an opportunity to make some changes to your business model? Perhaps your firm has the opportunity to embrace automation, take a new approach to its distribution model or expand into new markets.
As businesses return to normal in the next few months, they will have to contend with various unknowns. The firms that succeed will be the ones that are agile enough to pivot their strategic focus, when the right opportunity presents itself.
Changing the culture of a business is a very difficult thing to do. However, the return to “business as usual” post-pandemic gives firms an opportunity to drive cultural change.
Will your firm embrace remote working after the lockdown? How will this affect the culture of your firm? It’s important to set out your vision for the firm and communicate that to everyone across the business. Your vision should set out the key attributes of the new culture. Managers should be prepared to lead by example and develop their teams through training, follow-up and feedback. Sharing success stories of individuals and teams across your business will help to influence others and drive cultural change.
Your firm will need to be ready to take on new projects, execute business development plans and drive change. Take some time to map out the key behaviours that you will need your people to adopt as you move forward, after the lockdown.
If training is going to be needed, perhaps this could be provided, online, now. Doing as much pre-work as possible now will ensure that your team is ready to hit the ground running as the country emerges from lockdown. Be careful not to take on too many new projects at once. Regardless of the size of your business, resources are finite. Prioritise the key projects that are likely to have the biggest impact on your business.
Review the goals that you set out at the beginning of your strategic planning process and identify the projects that align with the achievement of those goals. Ensure that your management team are on board and that they understand the overarching objectives of the firm. This will help each team to move forward in a joined-up manner.
Leading a remote team during uncertain times
The uncertainty faced by businesses around the world will test even the greatest managers and leaders.
Communicate and then communicate some more
Uncertainty produces anxiety throughout your team, other employees, your firm’s customers, suppliers and investors. Silence is not an option as that is often interpreted as bad news.
As such, it is essential to communicate and reinforce a clear perspective of what is happening, what that means for the firm and what you, as a leader, are doing to manage the situation. The best managers and business leaders embrace positivity. Focus on emphasising the positive messages when communicating with your employees.
Establish regular catch-ups
Thanks to technology such as Skype, Facetime or Zoom, it’s easy to have online face-to-face meetings with your remote workers. Create a structure that includes weekly or bi-weekly team meetings and regular one-to-one catch up meetings. You can augment this with other means of communication such as text messages, emails and calls. You don’t want your people to feel like they are being micro-managed but you do need them to feel like they are part of a team, even when they are working from home.
Take time to understand the home-working circumstances of your team
Talk with individual staff about how their home circumstances may affect their ability to work. For example, some of your team members may be sharing a dining table as a workspace or they may have limited access to the internet due to the standard of connectivity that is available where they live. Discuss how this might be managed during the transition to working at home and try to agree a framework to help them to manage their work-life balance.
Embrace your human side
Nobody expects you to have all the answers. It’s ok to ask your people to share their ideas and opinions. Try to put yourself in their shoes – what projects would you want to get involved with if you were in their position? Be sensitive to the fear of change. Changes in circumstances tend to activate feelings of uncertainty among employees. Make your people part of the solution, encourage them to get involved, share your vision for success and give them the opportunity to contribute to that. After all, success is a team sport.
Contact us to discuss your post lockdown business strategy on 0161 761 5231; or email firstname.lastname@example.org