Rising from the ashes: Managing through the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses, both large and small, to make the most dramatic adjustments imaginable, putting undo strains on their employees and finances.
Structures and processes, including those that have been used for decades, can no longer be counted on to deliver the performance they once delivered. Businesses are now being forced to become more flexible in terms of allowances for remote work, compressed workweeks, and flexible schedules. Marketing and having a solid brand positioning have also become more important than ever. Having a strong brand and the right marketing activities to resonate with the new consumer needs is crucial in maintaining and building your brand’s emotional connections with your customers, in order to drive value in these uncertain times. “Marketing budgets as a percentage of revenues and company spend have risen to record levels during the pandemic, as it plays a key role in retaining customers and building brand value.” – MarketingWeek, Jun 17, 2020.
The increased need for flexibility around work schedules and locations combined, with the need for incremental activities, is causing a great deal of uncertainty and stress among employees as their situations keep changing and they try to do more with less. These factors have an immediate impact on employee morale and productivity which may lead to further business challenges as “50% of employees are considering leaving their employers due to a COVID-related “significant disconnect” between employers and employees,” - 2021 Hays (Canada) Salary Guide.
So where does this leave businesses? Boards, CEOs, and owners need to constantly assess the demands being put on their employees and their stress levels in order to mitigate the associated risks to the business. Outside support has become one of the more prevalent mitigation solutions, as many businesses are bringing in interim executives and consultants in key functional roles such as sales, marketing, human resources, information technology and finance to help manage the changing environment, workload and strains brought on by Covid.