While there are still some difficult months ahead, top economists are predicting that the recovery will be surprisingly fast. As such, organizations should use this downtime to review, adapt and adjust their strategies — so they can surge ahead instead of fall behind. Here are some key considerations:
- Your employees are coming back — even if they never left. But are they the same? Some may have been sick or temporarily unemployed (or both), and you can assume that all of them have been emotionally scarred. A mentality of “just get through it” has taken over. These are the people you are counting on and their energy levels, and what they can bring to the table matter more than ever. Make engagement a top priority with relevant and meaningful programs, policies and offerings. You need your people to be energized, focused, and inspired; not confused, drained, and terrified of what lies ahead. Normalcy is not a switch that can be turned on and off. Strategically —but with care and compassion — guide your staff towards the future.
- Expect competition for available top talent to be fierce. Be ready to hire quickly with a fast-track recruitment process and attractive compensation packages. Also bear in mind that early recovery firms will be cherry picking talent — and possibly plucking key people from your roster. Be proactive and do what it takes to protect your talent.
- Update the following with lessons learned: employee handbooks, employment agreements, policies, and practices. Don’t just try to get back to how things were before the crisis. Identify and fix the cracks, and strive to be better. Focus on being more proactive and less reactive.
- Review 2019 reviews and programs. Close those that are no longer applicable, and pick up the threads of those that are still meaningful. Run models to reforecast the 2020/2021 business plan and communicate expectations to identify future direction. Determine new targets and how your workforce will achieve them. Calibrate and set new performance objectives, incentive plans and compensation plans. Align talent, skill and engagement towards new, meaningful and needed goals.
The Bottom Line
Once the recovery begins to take root — and expectations are that it will start this year — strategies must be ready to go. Have a plan A, B, and C. Adapt, but do it quickly. The above points will help your organization pivot instead of panic.