Reputation and productivity

Reputation and productivity

The choices organisations make to manage their business and human capital in these uncertain times will not only impact on their productivity now but will have an even bigger impact on the future of their business in general.

Whilst human nature is to go into protection mode in crisis and seek security, now is not the time for lots of knee-jerk reactions and decisions.

The decisions organizations make, and the interpretation of those decisions by staff are going to have far-reaching consequences.  The need to be careful, considered and communicate effectively to staff to ensure support and commitment both now, and when light appears at the end of this tunnel is paramount.

Here are the three things I believe will determine success:

Communication

How well organisations communicate their strategy and plans in this time of uncertainty is important.  Don’t expect your team to be engaged if they don’t know what’s going on, don’t feel supported and are worried about their jobs. 

Now is a time for organisation’s to be on the front, not the back foot.  It’s a time to be communicating inspiring and motivating messages to staff that, as a business, we will get through this and that we are doing the best we can to help and support you regardless of their current status – ie working, on forced leave, stood down etc.

It’s important to be calm, honest and clear.             

Whilst emails might seem like the easiest fix, we can all learn from the recent response by Zoom’s CEO Eric S Yuan to security concerns as Zoom usage sky rocketed1 which resulted in a lengthy blog post but also included a weekly webinar to provide updates. 

How well are you communicating to your team?

Engagement

Right now, many of those working from home who have not done it before are experiencing major challenges. From separating work and home to juggling workloads, managing their households expectation and needs including children, young adults, parents and fur babies., plus missing the everyday community of being with work colleagues.

Engagement right now is the key to creating organisational community and loyalty through and beyond this period.  Whilst seeming counter intuitive, creating space for collaborative learning, through virtual presentations, knowledge sharing masterminds and just social get togethers virtually can help bridge the missing community piece in our new virtual work world!

For more on how successful strategic engagement can be, take a look at Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, CEO of US online company Zappos.com2

What could you do to build your team’s engagement right now?

Planning

Some may believe business will return to “normal” in six to twelve months, no one really knows, however realistically we need to plan for a “new normal”.

Whilst we need to respond to things happening around us, we also need to consider the weaknesses in our businesses and processes this has exposed and the opposite opportunities this situation presents to plan for what’s next.

In the same way government has task forces, businesses should consider creating working groups that explores the impact, both positive and negative of the situation, what weaknesses and opportunities in our business and business processes has this situation revealed.

For more on strategy and planning, take a look at the classic Jim Collins, Good to Great.

What framework can you create to enable you and your team or organisation to review and grow from this experience?

In these challenging times your own and your teams’ productivity is likely to be impacted, particularly as many adjust to working from home.  Considering these three steps is a great way to open and explore getting through this as a team.  When we feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves humans tend to be more committed and productive.  But that’s just my thoughts…what are yours?

Want help keeping your team engaged, inspired and productive?  Donna Hanson is a productivity expert who works with organisations and their teams to leverage existing technology to increase productivity, performance and engagement.  Find out how she can help your team virtually by visiting https://donnahanson.com.au/virtual-and-online-productivity-presentations-and-workshops/

1 https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/

2. www.zappos.com

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