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Recovery from COVID - is your business looking ahead?

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There’s no doubt that the last couple of years have been a roller coaster ride for many business owners and leaders, but now is a great time to strengthen your business.

The truth is that the pandemic is going to have a long-lasting effect on businesses and individuals. It has affected every employee across every industry and disruption is something many of us are becoming more familiar with, particularly in light of another new COVID variant. Businesses are now at the stage where they want to build their company back up and be robust enough to face challenges and react in an agile way. While this is not an easy task, there are a variety of ways a business can move forward to help them emerge stronger than before.

Build resilience

We have undergone a huge period of change, as government guidance has been adapted and renewed across the pandemic so far. It has required a great deal of resilience from every employee, from essential workers to those having been put on furlough and anyone in between. It has also required businesses to be resilient and adjust in an unfamiliar climate, which has left many struggling for survival. Customer demand has altered, companies have suffered with increased staff absences and company policies and procedures have been turned completely on their head. It’s thought that those organisations who have more successfully navigated these difficulties may have had more confident leaders and a more established company culture where employees feel valued and part of a team, with a clear set of shared values. 

As businesses look ahead to the future, building resilience is going to be incredibly important, to ensure they are ready for any future challenges. Supporting leaders with their personal development, particularly building on soft skills such as communication, critical thinking and responding to change, as well as strengthening company culture so employees have a real sense of purpose and feel an important part of the team is essential to create an agile and resilient organisation. While these factors alone will not fully determine success, they lay the foundation for helping a business succeed.

Strategically plan ahead

Businesses are now in a great position to look back over the last couple of years and review the lessons learned from the pandemic. For example, could they do anything differently in a future disruption or would they benefit from any permanent changes? The aim of analysing their past performance is to help shape the future, as well as take advantage of any opportunities. Collect data as well as ask for feedback from employees to gain a clear picture of what was happening during the pandemic, as this will help provide valuable insights which will guide future strategies. This will put businesses in a better position for a post-COVID recovery and allow them to gain a competitive edge, as well as provide the best service and products to not only retain customers but gain new ones.

Invest in your employees

Businesses have experienced change at a rapid pace and as a result working environments and employer and employee relationships have altered dramatically. Therefore employers need to take a more people-oriented approach as we come out the other side of the pandemic, in order for a company to recover and build back stronger than before. For some employees flexible working is important to them, as well as feeling valued and supported in their role through personal development opportunities and the championing of their mental health and wellbeing. 

Providing high-quality workplace training, when it comes to health and safety, HR and compliance not only fulfils your legal obligations but shows workers that they are important and their health, safety and wellbeing is taken seriously. 

Online learning is becoming an increasingly popular method when it comes to providing learning and development opportunities for employees. Not only is it cost effective, but it is accessible to your employees at a time and place that suits them, allowing for greater flexibility. Creating a culture of learning will not only benefit employees but the business too.

Be open to change

The pandemic has highlighted even further that businesses need to be able to evolve and adapt with the times. While the pandemic has accelerated change, change is a natural and ongoing process. When change can be viewed as a way to make progress it becomes less daunting. Businesses should take the time to determine their next steps for 2022, to move forward and ensure they are performing at their best ability. 

This article was taken from The Workplace Journal, a free report which helps business owners and leaders gain valuable insights on key issues affecting workplaces right now. It also includes expert commentaries from specialists and established brands on a range of hot topics including business challenges and priorities for the year ahead. 

Download your copy here.

The Workplace Journal 2022
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