Preparing for a Winter of Prosperity and Positivity
By: Johnny Nugent
We are living through unprecedented times. While COVID-19 vaccine trials are coming back with outstanding efficacy and safety results, these vaccines will take time to roll out to the general public. The good news is that there is a very real light at the end of the tunnel. The bad news is that we need to hang on for a few more months of uncertainty. Is your organization prepared for potential challenges the coming months?
While the severity of the COVID outbreak may vary depending on your geographic location, the United States is currently experiencing a surge in numbers likely due to the cold weather driving people inside where the virus spreads much easier. What are the challenges that lay ahead and how can businesses prepare to face them?
Even if employees are back to working in the office, it’s not the same. In order to keep employees safe, employers must implement mask mandates and social distancing in the office. This means the days of having a face-to-face conversation by the water cooler or meeting for lunch in the cafeteria are gone. Many people are experiencing “COVID fatigue” - tired of being cooped up, tired of feeling anxious, tired of taking precautions. Keeping employee morale up through the winter months is going to be a challenge.
However, 2020 has taught us that there are many ways to connect even under these difficult circumstances.
- Host virtual events to keep employees connected – ideas include virtual happy hours, virtual trivia competitions, virtual scavenger hunts, virtual holiday parties.
- Check in with one another. If you’re missing the casual workplace conversations that used to take place, check in via FaceTime, instant messaging, or email to catchup.
- Give a holiday gift instead of throwing a holiday party. Since office Christmas parties won’t be able to take place this year, use the holiday party budget to send employees a gift in the mail as a pick-me-up.
More restrictions on businesses are another serious threat to many organizations. Restrictions will vary depending on your geographic location. It seems like most data suggests that businesses have found a way to safely function and that most new transmission is coming from informal settings. However, it’s important that businesses go into this new season prepared for anything.
How can we face the threat of more restrictions? Don’t let your guard down at work (or at home). Now is not the time to be careless when it comes to wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing. Slowing the spread is the best way to avoid more restrictions.
If your state decides to rollout new restrictions on businesses and your company is impacted, what did your organization learn from the last lockdown that it can apply if there is a second lockdown? In March, the lockdown was sprung on many people without any warning. Organizations had to learn how to work remotely from the ground up. Now we have the advantage of learning from the past.
Make sure your employees have the tools for virtual communication at their fingertips and know how to use them. This includes having a virtual meeting platform as well as an instant messaging platform available to all employees to keep them connected to one another as well as to customers.
Consider moving your ERP solution to the cloud. A few months ago, earlier in the pandemic, we discussed how a cloud-based ERP deployment could be best for some of the challenges caused by the pandemic. These include cost savings, flexibility, scalability, and data security.
ERP systems offer many features that make remote work easier including workflows, reports and dashboards, and automating manual processes. Be sure you are taking advantage of this functionality whether there is a second lockdown or just as a way to make your business run smoother. Check out this blog post on ways to improve your ERP use while working remotely.
All signs point that we are rounding the turn on the COVID crisis, but need to remain vigilant for the next few months. We hope this post will help your organization to consider some of the potential challenges in the coming months so that you can meet them head on and come out of this winter prosperous and positive.