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Rethinking Work to Match New Business Realities

COVID-19, like every challenge that has caused mankind no small worry, will eventually fade. However, like most crisis, it will leave socio-economic impact that may linger, even after the virus is long gone. Analysis suggests that recovery will not be static, it will not occur on a specific date and as such, proactive organisations are planning for multiple scenarios as they shift from crisis response to recovery.

The continuous uneven footprint and seemingly inaccurate forecast of the pandemic also ideates businesses to plan for the possibility of multiple waves of the pandemic. As such, experts have predicted that the business world will most likely go through a gradual transition from the response phase to a new reality, more so now as the outcome of the pandemic is varied within different countries and industries.

Assuredly, the recovery process adopted by each organisation will serve as a bridge between the response, how it dealt with the immediate demands of the crisis and what its future will look like in the new normal. The biggest challenge organisations will likely face in recovery is the tension between preparing for a return to previous activities and routines when getting back to work, while embracing a new reality and rethinking work.

While many organisations have demonstrated resilience in the face of crisis, it is important to remember that transformative change can be difficult and unsettling for many workers. While some may prefer working from home, others may be uncomfortable or unproductive outside of traditional work settings.

How business leaders accommodate and balance these divergent expectations will help define the future of trust in their organisations. Despite the uncertainty, one thing remains clear, customers, workers, suppliers and other stakeholders are watching.

Workforce related strategies, according to experts, are best orchestrated through five critical actions: Reflect, Recommit, Re-engage, Rethink and Reboot.

Reflect on what has worked, what has been learned and what has been missed in the response, bringing in different perspectives and voices.

Recommit to workforce wellbeing and purpose though a focus on physical, psychological and financial concerns, at home and in the workplace.

Re-engage and redeploy the workforce to maximize their contribution and potential for rapidly evolving organizational priorities.

Rethink work, workforces and workplaces to leverage the experiences of the COVID-19 response and the opportunity to accelerate the future of work.

Reboot the HR and people operations priorities and realign the HR function and people operations with the most pressing business and workforce priorities and pivoting towards exponential HR.

Article adapted from Deloitte’s Workforce Strategies for Post COVID-19 Recovery

 

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