Five tips for reducing vulnerability in the wake of the pandemic
The Corona pandemic has affected our society more than most people could have imagined and its effects will remain for a long time to come. Many organizations are more vulnerable today than they’d ever dreamed of, and even with a vaccine on the way, it is still far from over. What can you do to counteract the negative effects of the pandemic in your organization? Is it even possible? Inspired by TRR’s Framtidsnavigering (Future Navigation), we have gathered five tips on how to strengthen your organization’s skills in the wake of the pandemic.
1. Develop your leaders’ skills
How is successful leadership really maintained when working remotely? One topic that has been given extra attention during the year is the need to enable remote working. This is something that employees have been requesting for a long time, but which has often been denied thanks to a disinclination to change and many managers’ low level of maturity when it comes to tech solutions. An increased degree of remote work is one of the trends that is believed to live on even after the pandemic. Make sure your leaders get the tools they need to be able to manage their teams successfully in this new normal.
2. Invest in knowledge-transfer
How many of your employees possess cutting-edge expertise that no one else in your organization does? What happens if one or more of these disappear? Make sure that your employees learn from each other and broaden their skills so that they can support each other if necessary. People are generally curious and open to learning new things. And for those who are asked to share their expertise, their self-esteem is boosted by the knowledge that their skills are valued. That the company simultaneously reduces its vulnerability is only an added bonus. A win-win-win solution that benefits everyone.
3. Combine competencies
It is important to keep your footing when the wind blows. An expert in sustainability may seem to stand firm when the world is shaking, but the sustainability expert who also understands how digitalization can draw attention to sustainability issues has increased stability thanks to an extra leg. The same applies at the organizational level. Does your company possess high levels of expertise in certain areas? Are there other skills the organization would need to stand even stronger? By combining competencies, the support polygon is expanded and thus the risk of falling in an uncertain future is also reduced.
4. Broaden the concept of competence
You probably know perfectly well that Lisa in the finance department has been working with accounting for eight years, but did you also know that she coaches the local youth floorball team? Did you know that IT support Charlie has acted as treasurer of his housing association for fifteen years? Your colleagues’ full potential is so much more than what can be discerned from a professional title or in a CV. By acknowledging the whole person, not just focusing on the hard skills of education and professional experience, you can uncover all the hidden skills that your co-workers possess. Perhaps the knowledge you’re looking for is already present in the group?
5. The virtual water cooler
We have never met online as much as we do now, but the spontaneous corridor meetings and encounters by the water cooler are gone. What happens when we no longer hang out? When many bars and saloons in the US were shut down during the so-called Prohibition era in the 1920s, one of the unexpected effects was a substantial reduction in patent applications.
As it turned out, the lack of spaces to socialize in, where people could exchange spontaneous ideas and thoughts, affects the power of innovation.
How can we keep on running into each other in the corridor when we’re not allowed in the corridor? If you work on a digital platform like Teams or Slack; do you have a chat room where spontaneous thoughts and ideas are given space to thrive? If your organization works remotely and wants to maintain the creativity and innovation power among your employees, make sure to offer them a digital place to hang out.
If you have any questions or requests for future reading material from us, feel free to contact us.
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During the fall, TRR’s Framtidsnavigering (Future Navigation) has utilized a number of global scenarios to better understand how the pandemic has affected and will affect the Swedish business community and the labor market during the upcoming 12–36 months. The conclusions from this project were presented during a webinar on December 8th.