The world of work today looks nothing like that of yesterday. The COVID-19 crisis has bought some companies almost to a standstill, whilst others have been kicked into overdrive. The trends that were emerging before the pandemic have accelerated – digital transformation has taken on a greater urgency, enabling businesses to pivot rapidly; the trend towards remote work has increased and the need to reskill and upskill people has taken on a new urgency. For businesses to not only survive, but thrive, change isn’t an option. The question is what strategies should businesses adopt in order to change?
Invest in your employees’ wellbeing
Look after your employees’ overall health and happiness. This should include their mental health, general life satisfaction, sense of purpose and their ability to manage stress. Business leaders need to be prepared to put in place programs and policies to take care of their employees’ wellbeing. Make sure your managers are trained in recognising the signs of poor mental health and are familiar with strategies to prevent and respond to staff suffering from low mental health. Find out more about managing your employees’ wellbeing.
Get on top of workplace health and safety
Now, more than ever, workplace health and safety needs to be top of mind. Employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of their employees and the pandemic has heightened employees’ concerns over their health and safety at work. Ensure your staff at all levels have appropriate, industry-specific training to reduce the risk of workplace accidents, injury or illness. Find more about how to get your staff trained to be at the forefront of health and safety.
Embrace the technical revolution
There has been exponential growth of the impact of technical innovation, such as automation, robotics and AI. These advances in technology means easier access to knowledge, not only simply for consumption, but transformation, interpretation and innovation. Harnessing the power of these technologies will bring about new kinds of jobs, where workers are able to spend more time on creative, collaborative and critical tasks that machines aren’t able to handle.
Place commercial value on learning as an accelerator
Lifelong learning is now critical. To create a workplace that is truly adaptable, businesses need to encourage their people to be continuously learning. Businesses need to provide employees with more holistic learning that address all aspects of work life, including the likes of courses about stress management and effectively working from home. We all need to adapt and develop 21st century skills. Upskill your people today with business specific training.
Develop a culture dominated by flexibility
Businesses have been talking about flexible work for years, but it became a necessity as a result of this crisis. The question now is how quickly we transition back and to what extent. Businesses need to question what work needs to be done by employees located in an office needing to adhere to social distancing, versus the benefits of working remotely. We need to re-think what onsite work should look like and adopt strategies that are more reflective of what type of work is being done, rather than the job itself. In order to thrive, businesses will need to become increasingly adaptive, agile and resilient.
Consider a portfolio-based approach to work strategy
For a business to be genuinely flexible, agile and resilient requires a strategy that taps into the many options available, such as automation, gig talent, alliances and out-sourcing. They need their employees to have the right skills at the right time to help diffuse risk, optimise cost, and be able to access the required capabilities. Business leaders will need to apply creativity and innovation to the ways they employ new technologies like automation. They will need to focus on the three key benefits of automation: the substitution of many repetitive tasks, an increase in more variable work and new jobs for humans.
Focus on business-model resilience rather than efficiency and growth
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated how volatile the world can be. Going forward, companies will need to balance employees’ need for certainty and stability with the organisation’s need to pursue flexibility and agility. This means a change in organisational culture, one where there is no more certainly and stability, but clarity and relevance in a constantly changing world.
Businesses need to adapt to the changing nature of work and train their people for the jobs of tomorrow. We all need to move to a new world of work that invites change and innovation. Is your business prepared?
Upskill your people today. Contact Work Options to find out about our tailored training courses at workoptions.com.au or call us on 9957 1300