3 Key Points to Your Post-Covid People Strategy

Justin Byrne

People Strategy (2)

It’s turned our world upside down, our economy inside out and, frankly, some of us around the bend; to say the effects of the Covid pandemic will be long and far-reaching is somewhat of an understatement. But, it’s not all bad; I believe many of us will have learned something. I’m not talking about a new language, skill or love for cooking – I mean about ourselves and, certainly as a business leader, what’s important moving forwards.

When planning the year ahead at the back end of 2019, none of us saw this coming. Businesses have had to adapt, diversify and, in some cases, simply survive. So the question I’d like to ask is, how has this changed your people strategy?

A “people strategy” by definition is a plan which pertains to building relationships with your employees, existing and new. It’s important to have – and never more so than right now. Here are my key points which business leaders should consider implementing into theirs over the coming months:

1. Prioritising trust as a key driver of your culture

Many businesses are currently facing two scenarios at present – one where our people have proved themselves able to work productively from home, and the other where they’ve stuck by us throughout an uncertain period of furlough or temporary lay-off. In both of these scenarios, the overriding take away has had to be trust.

Moving forwards, building a culture of trust, dependability and understanding between your leadership and the team is going to be absolutely key to thriving. Your business should be a community where everyone works toward the same goals, wherever they might be physically working from; placing your trust as a business leader or manager in your people to do the right thing and act in the right way is crucial to post-Covid company culture, regardless of industry, size or otherwise.

2. Maintaining transparency about the future of the business

Your growth targets, aims and aspirations for the business this year now likely differ drastically to what you may have written down in January. As such, the employees who are now phasing back into work may feel some unsurety about their own futures here.

Moving forwards, business leaders need to provide staff – new and returning – with real, transparent information as to where the future of the business lies and what that could mean for them. That means reassuring existing staff as to what they can or should expect, and keeping them updated on what goes on ‘behind closed doors’ – to a required and professional minimum, but with transparency nonetheless. For new hires, this means being upfront and honest about the challenges which may have ensued in the wake of
Covid, and allowing them more of an inside track. Not only is this simply fair, it’ll really help to build the sense of community which many businesses are going to find beneficial as we navigate through the unprecedented and as yet unexplored repercussions to be felt in the UK in the coming months, if not years.

3. Seeing remote working as a part of your strategy, not simply a perk

The truth is, even if a vaccine did materialise or somehow Covid simply wasn’t around anymore, many individuals just aren’t going to be comfortable with being in close-contact with people for a while. No one can deny that remote working is going to become a part of every business’ future; so, with a view to easing any worries that your existing or future workforce may be having about social distancing and the like, start implementing it as a standard.

Even limited face to face interaction will certainly work wonders for your culture, team bonding and the like, but there’s no reason that we shouldn’t all be considering ways in which our businesses can work as effectively remotely from here on in. Have open dialogue with your staff about how they’d like to work, how they feel they work best and what they feel most comfortable with. And, if that happens to be from home, so be it. Remote working is no longer a benefit to list in the “why work for us” section – it’s a given.

What would you add to this list? If you’d like some no-obligation advice about the challenges – and benefits – of hiring in the current climate, I’d love to talk. Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message, or get in touch in the comments to arrange a chat.