The world is currently dealing with the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 and it presents an alarming global health crisis that everyone is grappling with. Businesses are learning to adapt and innovate as per the changes this pandemic has brought forth. Organizations are facing unprecedented economic challenges. As per a report by Korn Ferry, about 54% of organizations expect to see a moderate-to-serious impact on their annual revenue with business declining by over 15 percent.
In these challenging times, companies need to be resilient and agile while dealing with crisis and understand the impact on their business. Due to this pandemic, we have been forced to go all digital which is one of the biggest organizational challenges. Though there are a plethora of virtual tools available for collaboration while working from home, it is imperative to ensure ‘people connect’ remain strong to create a positive and stress-free work environment. For this, leaders need to show empathy, provide structure, and delve into the current work-life challenges of the teams and colleagues.
As the world adjusts to the new reality, it is important for HRs to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Empathizing towards employees show that they care as they juggle between their work-life activities. Industries and their CXO’s need to brainstorm on shaping the organization to effectively deal with the new ways of working such as- more frequent work from home, virtual meetings online learning, etc. Checking in on employees through various ways will boost their morale during such challenging times. Additionally, it is crucial for organizations to check up on the tools available for a seamless work from home-set up of employees. Some companies are even funding employees to have proper work from home set-up which will be useful in the post COVID world too.
In order to boost the morale of employees, some gratification such as genuine appreciation or a job well done will go a long way. This lockdown has given an opportunity to encourage employees to upskill themselves through various online courses which will not just help in employees’ growth- but will also ensure the increase in productivity and efficiency of companies. Moreover, in a culture where employees are encouraged to come up with innovative solutions will enhance the sense of responsibility and ownership in employees- thereby creating an engaging environment.
Leaders/Managers should provide clear directions, set the right expectations and in turn, employees need to show reliability and credibility to deliver the expected results. Work from home has become relatively easier as managers and team leaders have become more trusting of the teams to finish a given task. Even employees have become more pro-active when it comes to taking ownership. This shift in the workplace has encouraged employees to come up with innovative solutions of their own problems.
Now that the companies are slowly opening up post lockdown, it becomes crucial for them to ensure the safety of their employees. Following set norm of only 33% workforce attendance at any given time, sanitizing the entire workplace, applying social distancing norms, compulsory temperature checks, compulsory wearing of masks can ensure that the employees are safe and healthy. India Inc has already begun to educate employees for safety at the workplace with ensuring various SOPs before operating from office again.
In this unprecedented time, the ways of working will change drastically in the years to come. The digitalization of the workforce will play an essential role in any company’s success and growth. Organizations will move towards a more fluid, networked environment. With all the learning initiatives, and an enhanced sense of onus- employees will come out better, stronger, motivated, and more engaged. This will help companies to bounce back quickly from the effects of COVID-19.