Sometime in March 2020, a survey was conducted among top human resource executives from some of the best global corporations. A pattern was quickly observed: a majority of companies have adopted work-from-home arrangements voluntarily or as required by the governments in the countries where they operate the business. The situation made these companies invest in new learning management systems (LMS) and proprietary business communication platforms.
The shift to work-from-home systems also made it necessary for these companies to refine their B2B customer onboarding procedure to make sure everyone was on board. A program had to be implemented to enable company executives and personnel to study, try, and master new technology introduced as part of their work processes.
In many companies, the middle-level employees have been in the company long enough to adjust to changes in the workplace. Those at the top, as well as the newly hired rank-and-file, are the ones who often find it a challenge to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment.
Agility as a New Business Ideal
Agility or the ability to move quickly is now a business goal or ideal. An excellent example of agility is how many schools adopted to remote or distance education even if they have been employing traditional classroom instruction for decades. When the pandemic forced schools to close their campuses, there was no other way for academic institutions to deliver service except by going online.
Many teachers have had to let go of their educator hats for a moment to put on their student hats as they underwent training on how to use an LMS, audio-video conferencing tools like Zoom, and other technology needed for remote education.
Restaurants also had to act quickly by converting their dining halls into delivery food packing areas. The closure of many establishments has threatened thousands of businesses, many of which will not reopen again due to severe losses in revenue.
To survive, many owners of restaurants also had to embrace online food ordering technology like Food Panda so that they can keep in touch with customers and have a platform where orders can be placed. Technology, in many ways, became a survival tool for many businesses, including those in the food services industry.
The morale of managers and employees is also very crucial to the success of a business. A business owner needs to be in touch with whatever is happening on the office floor. The business leader wants to have a pulse of the employees’ feelings or thoughts about their jobs and anything happening in the company.
Now that many companies have adopted a work-from-home arrangement, supervisors have to regularly hold online department meetings to check up on their team members.
It is essential to gauge how employees cope with the pandemic-related stresses and the adjustments needed for telecommuting. These meetings are also a means for the company to convey its sincere concern for the welfare of staff. Aside from being a business meeting online, these sessions are coaching opportunities and a way for employees to give feedback.
Back then, it was easier to connect with fellow employees since it only took a short walk to chat with a teammate or invite someone for coffee at the office pantry. Now that everything has to be temporarily done online, it takes more effort. Still, keeping communications lines open between management and staff is more important, especially in the context of remote work and quarantine.
Technology in Strategic Planning
Another revelation to businesses during the height of the pandemic is the need to place more importance on technology as part of strategic planning. In practice, strategic planning usually focuses on long-term goals or objectives, resources needed, and milestones that need to be mapped out by a company.
Now that disruptive external factors have shown their impact on business operations, business leaders see how technology can bridge gaps and how enterprise software and cloud storage systems can ensure business continuity.
Process, People, and Technology
In summary, businesses have realized that processes need to be flexible, people need to be motivated, and technology needs to be leveraged for a business to continue and succeed in a post-pandemic environment. Significant changes in supply chains, customer behavior, purchasing power, and other economic determinants have made companies re-evaluate business models and targets.
Moving forward, companies will take steps to ensure that they create value for customers by first improving how they do business, taking care of the people who operate the company, and adopting technologies that would enable them to perform better even during a pandemic and beyond.