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  • Jude Mahony

So…. now what and what next? Are you prepared for what happens after restrictions are lifted?

You and your team have been working remotely, some employees and leaders thriving, others not so much.

You have sprinted your way to operational and technology solutions, making sure your teams health is at the forefront.

You may have downsized, or adjusted your teams hours and salaries.

You may have seen a huge downturn in your volumes. Or a huge upswing in activity. You may have closed the doors completely.

The change has been intense and immense – for everyone.

So… now what? What do you do to prepare for the next scenario? The lifting of restrictions, the return to work? What does your Business Workforce Recovery Plan look like? Now is the time to start your planning, if you haven’t already.

  • Have you recorded the positives out of #COVID-19 ways of working? What opportunities will you embrace out of this shift? What will you retain and what will you drop like a hot potato? Will you do a full “snapback” (ugh) or really take the time now to plan what your workforce, your workplace and your business priorities will resemble in the next phase of the “new normal”?

  • What does your workforce composition look like coming out the other side? Will you retain a fully remote workforce or a combination? Will you embrace the #gig economy and adjust ratios of contractors to FTE? Where you have reduced staffing levels, how do you rebuild the tacit business knowledge you may have lost?

  • Will you need to continue to reduce costs? How do you do that without looking just at your labour costs? How do you ensure business knowledge is retained if you do decide that labour reductions are the immediate solution? What else can give you immediate reductions in cost and drive longer-term efficiencies? What work practices need to change or adjust or be maintained to provide those short and longer-term efficiencies?

  • Will you need to scale to support rapid growth? How do you do that whilst maintaining quality of service and/or products? What are the enablers of growth within your organisation? How does technology support your growth and how do you ensure a full uptake of new technology within your teams? What business activities can be automated? What are the key skills you need to maintain quality at speed?

  • Has your business pivoted so quickly you need to backtrack to fill gaps? How do you continue to maintain the flexibility and agility you used during COVID-19 to pivot so quickly? What does that mean for your workforce now and in the future? What are the key skills required to maintain that flexibility?

  • What does your vendor mix look like? Has your business offshored or outsourced and now needs to reintegrate? Or do you see the opportunity to move some tasks to lower cost locations, vendors or other teams within the business?

  • How do you know what work forms part of your core business and needs to be retained to drive your competitive advantage? And what work can be moved or removed? What skills impact your strategy and what skills are impacted by your strategy?

  • What mindset shifts do you need to work on with your teams? What coaching do your leaders need to continue working in an inclusive way? What gaps in behaviours have you seen? What positive shifts have taken place that you want to retain?

  • What are the immediate critical skills you need to retain or rebuild? Are they thinking, achieving, relating or technical skills that have been the game-changers through COVID-19? What skills does your business need for recovery and beyond?

One of the key takeaways from our most recent HR roundtable (register here to be included in the next one) was that all businesses should record what is working right now – when it is over, you won’t remember! Write it down, have your leadership team write it down, have your employees write it down! Successes and lessons learned – capture them while they are happening, so you have a frame of reference in your planning.

  • What is working well?

  • What should be retained?

  • What is not working well?

  • What should be shelved?

Workforce recovery planning needs to start now so you are not scrambling to catch up when things shift again.

Schedule a complimentary workforce assessment here to help you plan your plan!

Our “Future of Work” handout from the first Sense / Humanitas / Optimal Roundtable last year is also a good place to start, but don't wait - you don't want to be slammed by the wave again!

Author: Jude Mahony

26th April 2020

The Optimal Resourcing mapping of your future workforce approach includes:

  • identification of critical roles and skills that fit your long-term strategy,

  • an adaptable workforce composition plan,

  • talent retention and acquisition strategies that ensure your team can continually evolve to meet the changing demands of your business.

Contact us for more information