Think AHEAD — This can be a moment for strategic and long-term planning. Examples include:

  • Update your business plan: budgets, timelines, risk plans, and other planning documents so that you know what your business looks like now and how you can grow it once the lockdown is over and your employees are back at work.
  • Update your Company goals and objectives so they are in line with your updated business plan
  • Consider ways that you can improve diversity and inclusivity to help build moral, your workforce like you they will be feeling a little ‘battered’

Think BACK — “Quiet” times can be used to gather and examine your previous business plans and the overall performance of your Company.  What has gone well, what could have gone better, what can I do differently moving forward such as:

  • Review existing data to determine whether projects are meeting objectives.
  • Keep in contact with your employees and encourage them to join in and reflect, ask them to send you their thoughts. Let them know you want and value their true feelings.  Even if you don’t like what you hear….What has worked well for us in the past year and why? What hasn’t worked as well and why? This can translate into productive discussions related to future initiatives

Think DEEP — Make a plan to do a deep dive.  Look into your systems and working practices.  Are they giving you what you need?  This might include:

  • Spring cleaning your email account, create and organise email folders
  • Organise and clean up folders, drives, and any other document storage you have, include the cupboards and anywhere else that is storing items that you’ve forgotten
  • Cleaning up data and labels in databases and document management systems.
  • Use this time to clear up backlogs and do the work that you’re always planning to do but never find the time to actually do

Think GROWTH — This once in a lifetime experience gives us the ideal opportunity for developing ourselves and our teams. Consider:

  • Encouraging employees to engage in professional development topics through free resources like LinkedIn Learning, webinars, books, digitally available articles and other publications, podcasts, TED Talks. Is there any essential training that can be completed?
  • Building discussions around professional development materials with your team. You might ask questions like: What did you learn from this? What surprised you? What does this make you more curious about? What insight does this bring to what we do? Based on this, what might we want to try?
  • Do your employees know how to use emerging technology? MS Teams, Skype for Business, What’s App and Zoom are great tools for employees and employers when working from home or on multiple sites.  You can have a virtual meeting, and all see/hear each other.  So much better for connecting than a phone call and some of them are free.

 Think WELL-BEING — It is crucial that we all sustain our physical and mental health. Prioritise:

  • Checking in with your employees especially if they are working from home or furloughed. What support/signposting can you offer them?
  • Reassure them as much as you can and always be truthful
  • Continue to recognise and highlight employees’ exceptional efforts.
  • Find ways to creatively maintain the team’s social interactions and still have fun. Funday Fridays ask employees to send a joke around
  • Have discussions and set boundaries around work and non-workspaces and times. Some employees may need clarity, reassurance, and guidance
  • Sharing ways your team has discovered to stay focused in a non-office setting. For example, for some people it may help to have a radio on for company
  • Remind them to get out for some exercise and observe the 2-metre rule

 Even if we might not know for sure when this period of remote working will come to an end, it is nevertheless a finite situation. 

Maintain regular, honest communication with your team. Talk about what you and they want to do during this period, how you’ll do it, how you will measure your success, and ultimately how you plan to transition and merge these efforts together with existing priorities and structures once this is over and we return to normal working practices

IN THE MEANTIME, NOW IS THE TIME TO THINK CREATIVELY AND BE ALERT TO THE OPPORTUNITIES AROUND US.

Westcountry HR are here to ensure that once this is over we can help you get back to normal – and I know we are all asking ourselves what normal is?