Remote work, upended business cycles and the challenge of operational planning have shaken organizational structures large and small. As we enter the second month of a new normal, business owners and leaders are starting recalibrating what the near and mid-term future may look like for their businesses, team structures, and work expectations.
While many companies are facing (or have faced) the prospect of temporarily laying off valuable team members or scaling back on compensation, creating alignment with those who are keeping the business going will determine the speed of the on ramp to success on the other side. Here are eight starting points for helping your people keep moving forward in this challenging time.
Role clarity is always important, but today it’s more important than ever. Productivity is truly being challenged in an environment of video calls and periodic check-ins, bringing into question how effective people are, what realistic expectations look like, and whether team members are focusing on what’s most important. There’s a need to shift from the rhythm of daily activities to accountabilities and results, leaving behind some of the old notions of how work gets done. If you haven’t reviewed or updated position descriptions (ie performance expectations) in over a year, now’s the time to do a collaborative review. A relevant position description or success profile should include core accountabilities (not the same old list of duties and responsibilities), key people interactions and relationships, the measures of success, and the behaviours or competencies needed for successful performance of the work.
Revisit your corporate values if you haven’t done so in awhile. Values guide the behaviour you want to see from everyone who works in your company, and these guideposts will be essential as you navigate the months ahead. Is the wording and language fresh and meaningful? Are the values championed in your weekly check-ins, in daily conversations, on your website and social media shares?
Make performance feedback a regular occurrence that happens in real-time coachable moments, along with a short bi-weekly meeting with each team member to review what’s working well, what’s not, and the priorities for the weeks ahead.
Talk to your people about their aspirations and how they can leverage their strengths more. While business survival and work routines have been the focus for all in the last while, a glance toward the future can bring new levels of optimism and set the foundation for ongoing career pursuits and continued professional success.
Ensure your compensation practices are market competitive for the talent you have and the talent you seek to hire. This may seem other worldly at the moment, especially if you’re cutting back on salaries, but when the time comes to restore compensation levels, knowing how to best reward those in your most critical roles will be essential to their long term retention and engagement.
Make learning a conscious activity by providing cross-functional opportunities for individuals to participate in or lead something new for them – a system upgrade or implementation, a process improvement, product launch, service enhancement, or way of doing things.
Recognize your people for their contributions. A simple thank you can sometimes be the biggest expression of gratitude you can give, and the voice of our medical leaders to ‘be kind’ during these times is a helpful mantra as our workplaces reform and re-norm as the health crisis abates.
Optimize your website and social media to attract great talent. You may not be hiring now, but the need for talent may change at a moment’s notice. That means setting up or refreshing your Careers page or Join Our Team page to make it easier for prospective applicants to show interest and learn about your company. As individuals may have been laid off or experience job uncertainty, they may be checking out where their next career move may take them. Putting your firm’s best foot forward is a long game that will enhance your success in attracting the best when you need them the most.
If you’d like to know how well your current people practices are stacking up these days, take our complimentary Talent Innovation Diagnostic and we’ll send you a baseline report on where your organization is strongest and where your best opportunities are for a re-set in the months ahead.
Want to learn more? Check out our webinar series on transforming your people practices for new levels of success. These on-demand webinars will guide you through the steps to move your people practices from basic to brilliant.