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This has been an atypical year filled with unprecedented changes. A global pandemic, country-wide lockdown, economic downturn, and an uncertain future outlook have combined to create unique challenges for business owners. If we’ve learned anything over the last several months, it’s that tenacity and flexibility are critical when navigating what we’ve come to know as “the new normal.”
In this blog post, we’ll discuss strategies for successfully adjusting to major operational transitions, including transitioning to a remote workforce (and back); piloting a merger, acquisition, or corporate restructuring; and pivoting daily business operations in response to changing market conditions.
Navigating the Transition to a Remote Workforce—And Back!
In the wake of social distancing measures implemented due to the coronavirus, many companies have shifted their workforce to working remotely. In fact, Forbes reports that almost half of all American companies have asked their employees to work from home since the pandemic began. For many business leaders, this has resulted in major changes to daily operations. Here are some helpful resources to help you navigate this transition:
As our country continues to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many business leaders are assembling teams and task forces to determine the best way to safely return their employees from home to the physical workplace. Naturally, employees and employers alike are concerned about safety, and many organizations are seeking answers for what they can and cannot do regarding return-to-work concerns. Several common concerns that business leaders are having to consider as they reopen include:
Employee COVID-19 testing
Processes and procedures to follow when employees have COVID-19 symptoms
Providing masks, face coverings, and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
Implementing social distancing procedures and guidelines for the workplace
Keeping up with local and federal guidelines
As you’re probably aware, local, state, and federal guidelines are fluid and should be monitored frequently. Employers can access COVID-19 resources via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructuring
At a time when some businesses are closing their doors and others are having to deal with major changes to their corporate structure, navigating these events can be challenging for both business leaders and their employees.
Constant communication and sharing information openly is important during periods of transition, as fear will grow if employees are unaware of what's going on within the company. Have discussions with your direct reports regularly and provide frequent updates as changes happen. Sharing details with the individuals that support your business will prove to be valuable in the long run. Trying to make sure everyone stays positive may not be easy, but it is crucial and can only be accomplished when your employees aren't left to worry about what "could" happen.
If you want your employees to thrive and become part of the new company culture there are things that can help facilitate that. Here are a few tips:
Give public praise to those who show they are for this transition—not against it
Champion those who work hard and show loyalty and dedication
Challenge your team to find ways they can use the new technology and resources available to them to make their job easier or better
Allow your employees to branch out, giving them the opportunity to take on a new responsibility that is much needed in the new organization
Adjusting to Major Changes in Daily Operations
In the wake of COVID-19-related disruptions, many businesses have experienced major changes to their daily operations. Some have had to close their doors, while others have had to furlough a large portion of their workforce. Others have had to shift focus very quickly to adapt to new market conditions. In this climate of economic uncertainty, businesses must be able to pivot smoothly. Resiliency and flexibility are going to be major themes for business leaders going forward.
For example, when COVID-19 and government stay-at-home orders swept across the U.S., Reyes Automotive Group, an on-site supplier for Toyota Motor Manufacturing and SWBC client, was put in a tough position when automotive manufacturing essentially came to a halt. Meanwhile, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply across the nation, leaving first responders and front-line healthcare workers without the critical equipment they needed to treat the sick. Reyes Automotive Group saw this as an opportunity to leverage their team members’ skillset and their manufacturing facilities to serve the local community by producing medical face shields, while putting their team members back to work.
Within 24 hours, they were able to create a prototype. Then, utilizing their supply chain knowledge, they scaled up production of medical face shields from a few hundred per day to more than 25,000 per day.
There are many unknowns about how our country and workforce will move forward in the aftermath of the pandemic. If this year has taught us anything, however, it’s that we as a country are capable of adapting to and thriving in even the most uncertain environment.
To learn more about how SWBC helped Reyes Automotive adjust to their “new normal,” by adjusting their commercial insurance coverage to meet their needs in 2020, click the banner below!
As Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing within SWBC’s Insurance Services division, Mike Karageorge oversees marketing efforts focusing on sales and growth. Before joining SWBC, Mike spent over 20 years as a sales and marketing executive within the wireless communications industry, including 12 years at Sprint. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA.