Thriving in the world today does not come without challenges. The realities of the world of work at the moment can feel tough. Many teams are facing restricted resources and find collaboration more difficult by being forced to work remotely. The ongoing uncertainty means that for many companies, especially smaller teams, it’s all about survival.
We hosted a webinar with PwC, featuring a panel of Scottish thought leaders, plus award winning journalist Kirsty Wark, to discover how businesses can maximise their opportunities to thrive.
Toby Astor, VP Office of Innovation at Salesforce, explained that there are three core pillars to help improve resilience:
1. The first element is leading with compassion and having the ability to inspire workforces through difficult and challenging periods of your business, and the need for transparency in all areas of your operations.
2. The second pillar is mindset and the willingness of teams to adapt and rapidly innovate without the fear of failure, which means working directly with customers to improve.
3. The third discussed by Astor is the need for tools to empower your decision making at speed and scale.
Having one place to turn to for up-to-date, in depth and relevant data should be a strong part of your business strategy. Being customer centric and having a single source of truth in your data is key to success, explained Astor.
Tracy Black, Director of CBI Scotland, explained the huge global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains. Companies are facing the harsh realities of weak cash flows and inability to ship parts. Many businesses have been unable to make, transport or store products. In this case, making use of support programmes, such as government-backed loans and furlough schemes, has been essential.
The key difficulty for businesses at the moment, Black explained, is the unknown. There's little understanding of when consumer confidence and demand will return to pre-COVID 19 levels.
It’s this uncertainty that makes scenario planning absolutely essential for businesses today, explained Claire Reid, Regional Leader of PwC for Scotland. Communicating the plans for the best and worst scenarios across the organisation will help build confidence within your teams. Reid explained that your business can then take the necessary practical steps, such as reskilling employees who would otherwise be at risk of redundancy.
Many employees are now into their fifth month or more without seeing their co-workers face-to-face. They are struggling with work/life balance, and the strain on individuals’ mental health is a major concern. This challenge is likely to be showing up across many organisations. Scott Hastings, freelance broadcaster and journalist, said that there needs to be a dialogue with employees, particularly as working environments and patterns shift further.
It’s likely many employees in your team may feel uncomfortable or unsafe returning to the workplace. Many employees may also feel tired and stressed, so it is important to be both tolerant and flexible. You can employ innovative new ways of working to support your team to do their best work - for example, Black explained the importance of conducting a survey to assess how your employees feel about returning to work. You can then use the results to help make improvements to health and safety, and improve the mood and wellbeing of your team.
You can watch the webinar again here to discover further insights, tips and guidance on how to return to business in a position of strength, and learn how having a single view of data can empower your team and improve customer satisfaction.