6 Ways to Future-proof Your Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our day-to-day lives. In only a few short months, countries were faced with lockdowns, business closures, and a massive shift in working patterns and arrangements. Organizations have had to make major changes to their operations and procedures as many employees are forced to work remotely and adapt to the new normal.
Therefore, the importance of future-proofing your business has never been so vital. Protecting your company and your staff can be done with some careful planning and the right implementation of tools and technology. This article explores six ways that you can prepare your business for the future and what steps you can take to make sure that events such as COVID-19 do not sink your boat.
Invest in updated technology
If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything when it comes to work, it’s that digital is the new normal. As employees were suddenly forced to work from home, the need for digital workplace collaboration platforms increased, making tools like Zoom and Slack essential for meetings and instant messaging.
To ensure your business can keep up during a continually uncertain time, it’s important to update any archaic IT or computer systems and ensure that it has the latest digital tools. This is because shifting from office to home requires a new way of communicating and working; therefore, the upgrade in technology should help your employees work smarter and more efficiently in a remote way. If you need additional support to set this up, enlist the help of an IT support services company like Capstone IT Services (Florida) to ensure you’re getting the right technology and security for your company.
When people were forced en masse to start working remotely, it shone a spotlight on businesses whose processes weren’t properly set up for distanced work. The shift to online communication can be a major change for businesses that are accustomed to in-person meetings and correspondence. To ensure that your business can cope in this changing work climate, improving the communications systems of your organization are crucial.
These improvements apply not only to the digital tools you use, but also in terms of how you set up your comms channels. With workers dispersed across vast areas, it’s important to ensure that the lines of communication remain transparent and open. Staff should be continuously updated and kept in the loop, especially in terms of organizational changes, and ideas should be welcomed so that everyone feels included.
Increase organizational agility
In recent years, the need for flexibility, adaptability, and speed of change has been a necessary component of organizational growth in a fast-paced digital climate. This demand for agility has become even more needed in the wake of the pandemic where change is happening at an alarming and unexpected rate. To be agile, a business needs to be able to adapt its business strategy, delivery, and models in response to market demands.
For this reason, it is important to plan and be flexible during these times to ensure you not only stay afloat, but also properly adapt. Implementing the right technology and improving communication are a large part of this, as are amending your company’s goals so that they are mission-driven and not reliant on old models of thinking.
Promote employee health and wellness
More than ever before, people are becoming cognizant of the importance of strong physical and mental health and well-being, particularly when it comes to the workplace. The coronavirus pandemic has shed light on the need for companies to include health and wellness programs as part of their overall business operations. Looking to the future, businesses that put in preventative measures and support staff well-being will fare better not only in terms of overall productivity, but also in terms of attracting talent.
To ensure that you’re being proactive when it comes to health and wellness, it’s important to frequently check in with staff in terms of their stress levels and mental health, supporting breaks, healthy eating and exercise regimes, as well as setting up proper protocols for safety and sanitization, especially in offices, where hand gels and wipes may be needed. By prioritizing the health of your employees, you will ensure a safe and happier work environment.
Support leadership development
As businesses embrace a new normal, the need for adaptable and strong leadership will increase. In the wake of COVID-19, managers will need to be equipped with the right skills to deal with new kinds of workplace concerns, especially as organizations undergo changes that are unexpected.
It’s therefore a good idea to invest in leadership development for your managers so that they can deal with things like crisis management, mentoring, conflict resolution, employee motivation, and effective communication. Future-proofing your business requires new forms of training to accommodate the current climate, which is why support and leadership development should be at the top of the list.
Have a contingency plan
The sudden arrival of coronavirus and the implementation of lockdown measures meant that many businesses were wholly unprepared. Not only did these measures cause great disturbance to their operations, but those who did not have a contingency plan were left with no real way of dealing with such a drastic change. This has resulted in bankruptcies, layoffs, redundancies, closures, and the list goes on.
Ensuring that you’re able to future-proof your business requires not just one, but several contingency and continuity plans. This includes financial forecasts, role changes within the organization, working hours, logistical arrangements, communications, and operational procedures. Establishing a few contingency plans will help secure your business and allow it to adapt for eventualities and should support your staff so that they also feel taken care of.
As the year 2020 comes to an end, it’s now more important than ever before to protect your business long into the future. With coronavirus still rearing its head and affecting our lives and working patterns, take time to evaluate your business strategy and processes now so that the transition back to regular arrangements will be easier and more efficient.