As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and the economy continues to mount, executives in different industries are also seeking innovative ways to protect the health of their employees whilst reinforcing their companies’ resilience.
A new recent report by Philip Consulting examined some these strategies that companies are adopting to protect their employees, clients, and partners from the effects of COVID-19 were highlighted. Some of these strategies include:
- Formation of Crisis Management Teams: Here, organizations create a committee to make policies and provide information to executives and front line staff on topics like awareness, prevention and great hygiene. They also handle employee safety and other future developments; covering issues like protocols for remote working, daily safety check-in, etc.
(READ MORE: COVID-19: What businesses must do to mitigate crisis)
- Monitoring Business Impact: Senior leaders hold dedicated meetings to monitor business impact in efforts to protect or sustain business functions.
- Business Support for Clients: Here, Firms develop strategies to communicate with their clients to help them navigate the challenges and uncertainty generated by coronavirus.
- Using Virtual Training: There has been a fast expansion of training opportunities within enterprises. A lot of organizations are making use of platforms such as Zoom, Teams etc. to render bespoke training to clients.
It was noted in the report that business leaders and organizations should be prepared for the new normal recovery phase for Covid-19.
The future of work?
Here are key insights into the new normal that lies beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and considerations business leaders should factor into planning for the new normal today:
- Rapid Acceleration of Digitalization and Innovation: Remote working has triggered a rapid spur in the adoption of technology. Many social distancing strategies have been deployed, hence the explosion of innovation around virtual meetings, video conferencing, virtual classrooms, digital learning, telemedicine and knowledge sharing. Also, the fear of contagion is leading many people to abandon cash payments, thus embracing digital payments via digital channels. This acceleration of digitalization and emerging technologies will generate efficiency gains, thus dominating the working world during the Post COVID-19 era and further drive remote working technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems.
- Reinventing Supply Chains and Manufacturing Strategies: The novel Coronavirus crisis has revealed the dangers of relying heavily or solely on factories localized in single countries. The rate of vulnerability is alarming and thus, calls for re-thinking and reinventing of the present supply chain and manufacturing model.
In the world, referred to as the ‘new normal’, resilient organizations will find a way to mitigate the negative impact witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will do this by adopting emerging automation technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) vision systems. They will gain competitive advantage by building manufacturing industries locally and most importantly, move businesses from offshoring to near-shoring and even re-shoring of production.
- Rapid Increase in Public Health Awareness and Civic Responsibility: The international response to the Coronavirus has revealed the weakness and shortcomings of the global health care systems. The use of surgical masks and disinfectants which is becoming a common practice can become global in no distant time.
- Significant Decrease in Business Travel: The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the travel industry’s economy badly. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the effect of Coronavirus could cut over 50 million jobs globally in the travel and tourism industry. In the Post COVID-19 world, there will be a significant decrease in business travel due to the over-dependency on virtual conferencing, video-conferencing and other virtual meeting enabling tools.
- Rapid Increase in Digital Learning (E-Learning): With schools closing in over 190 countries all over the globe, home-schooling is already on the increase as many are presently leveraging the lockdown as an opportunity for self-development. Children are not left out too, as parents are encouraged to enroll their children in online academic activities, as this helps in developing their skills and discovering their talents. According to UNESCO, the world after COVID-19 will witness a surge in home-schooling activities which will disrupt the traditional schooling system.
(READ MORE: Businesses most affected by COVID-19 outbreak)
Quick Wins for Organizations During the Transition Phase
- Thrive Amidst the Challenges
- Understand Your Business and Its Operating Model
- Risk Management Systems: In transitioning during the pandemic and the recovery phase, organizations must prioritize and develop a comprehensive risk management framework and systems.
- Collaboration is Key: As part of the critical action plans required to ensure organizational survival for the new normal, active collaboration through the convening of regular meetings with supply base and customer representatives for pooling ideas is very crucial.
- Be Positive: set up a team whose sole responsibility is to champion the development of the business post-COVID-19.