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Coronavirus: the secret to business continuity

3 steps to building organizational resilience through your workforce

Published by Ken Ferguson 

Lockdown has left many organizations across the world at a virtual standstill. Lower activity volumes, falling prices and a drop in new work are all factors contributing to the slump that’s wreaking havoc on the global economy.

Just last week, titans of the business world announced further unavoidable job cuts in the wake of Coronavirus. Uber cut 3,000 jobs as the pandemic devastated ride-hailing. Tech giant IBM warned of thousands of its US workers being cut. And Rolls-Royce, a stalwart of British engineering, voiced long-term recovery fears for the airline industry as it cut 9,000 jobs in its aerospace division. 

So, what next? Is there any hope for business continuity or a return to normality? Or are we resigned to this as our new normal?

These are big questions and none of us can have a definitive answer right now. But what’s for sure is that business leaders who look to government for a silver bullet solution to their problems will have a rocky road to recovery. Thinking otherwise or awaiting a recovery-shaped miracle is short-sighted, dangerous and naive.

Instead, what’s next is up to them. The brightest business leaders of today take control of their destiny, fearlessly.

The current crisis is all-consuming across the globe, so more often than not leaders are focused on resolving problems thrown up day to day and reacting in the present. That’s important, but it’s no way to prepare for the future. There has to be forward planning too, especially when it comes to your workers’ needs and how they’re managed and supported. That’s where the secret to business continuity lies.

Here are some vital steps to show your workforce and the world that you’re prepared for the future, and to inspire confidence that their future is with your business:

Health comes first. Every single time.

Put simply, monitoring the health of your workforce is the right thing to do. Looking at it collectively is the smart thing to do. A commitment to keeping an eye on how any team sickness or absence impacts the organization as a whole is vital to reassure workers and avoid people being stretched too thinly.

This data is important in the present, but as always, helps you plan for the future and the road to recovery. If certain areas of the business are struggling now with mission-critical work, how will they react when things ramp up as lockdown measures are eased?

These factors are super important in motivating your workforce, keeping them healthy both physically and mentally, and ensuring there’s a collective commitment to the future success of the business.

Build resilience into the DNA of your organization

As we’ve seen, making the people within your organization a priority is essential. But making your workforce central to recovery planning also involves a focus on the organization, not the individuals within it. So, instead of adapting everyone’s role to fit with the new reality, this is about looking at the business and setting it – and the people within it – up for long-term success.

That’ll show every employee that resilience is being built into the organization as it adapts to today’s climate and that there’s always scope for new opportunities, no matter how the world changes.

Maintaining business continuity

None of us can know what the new normal looks like. But that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for life after Coronavirus and that all hope for business continuity is lost.

Why? Because strong leadership is the most important thing an organization needs right now. If you can show people you care about their present and future, you’re halfway there to inspiring the confidence that’s needed to navigate these unprecedented times.

What’s more, smart leaders will have open lines of communication with their teams, keeping them up to speed on the decisions being made and the planning and analysis that has led them down a certain route.

Read more about workforce planning with Orgvue

read more about workforce planning

How do you know if your business is getting the right people doing the right things with the right skills? Aside from the day-to-day operational requirements, making the time to think more strategically about workforce planning can add significantly to your organization’s productivity.

Ken Ferguson

Chief Revenue Officer, orgvue

Ken is the Chief Revenue Officer at orgvue. A proven leader, Ken enjoys solving complex problems for customers, delivering results and seeing his team members grow and succeed in all that they do. Ken writes about the future of work, using data to plan the future organization and how to successfully manage continuous change.

Photograph of Ken Ferguson