Exercising at home is one thing as many in their bubbles will tune into a Les Mills Workout on TVNZ (an excellent initiative!) or a Zumba class on-line, as we work and ‘work out’ in our bubbles, but our current hibernation provides a time for employers to become ‘fit’ too. In an interview with Jane Davis, Director, The Flourishing Institute, we looked at the three different stages of adaptability that are set to become apparent as we navigate this significant disruption.
Kiwi businesses are adapting to the situation. Business have made some tough calls to reshape teams and adapt their workforce to match the current market. As an example, one employer, a pharmaceutical company, has pivoted quickly and hired a temporary backup team to manage the volume of orders – all within twenty-four hours. Another, an IT business, has moved all their employees to form a ‘monster IT help team’ to support Kiwis across the country.
Communications last week, with over 2,500 business and government agencies nationally, showed that this first phase, or ‘the hit’, saw many Kiwi businesses doing well, pointing clearly to the strength of their Kiwi ingenuity.
According to Jane Davis’s research, the second phase will require some quick attention as New Zealanders get used to being in their bubbles and boredom becomes one issue that needs combatting.
A few industries will emerge as the clear winners in the second phase such as entertainment, streaming organisations, app development companies, online training, and online services. Jane Davis suggests that plugging people into programmes to keep them focussed on positive mental health is key in this phase. With programme topics such as managing distractions, thriving through change and building healthy thinking patterns being ideal for employees in their home locations, supporting people at this time will pay huge dividends.
The good news is that if businesses didn’t have enough time to plan for the extremely fast arrival of the first phase, they now have room to act quickly for the second one. Digital transformation, already a trending topic prior to today, is set to become a pillar to reinvent our business models. From gym businesses creating more and more online content to one of our employers, a medical technology firm, using ‘augmented reality’ to create new training programs through to toy suppliers designing mobile apps… there are opportunities out there.
#3 Slow return to normal
In the third and last phase, the ‘slow ‘return to normal’, our New Zealand way of life may have been disrupted to the extent that ‘normal’ could see significant changes. For example, once-considered perks, such as working from home, flexible hours, four-day working weeks might just become a natural part of the way we work.
Jane Davis believes that Kiwi organisations having been given an opportunity to test and enjoy the advantages of working from home, remote working systems and flexible hours, could use this as a time to evolve organisational models, improve productivity, add a competitive advantage to their business vis increased speed and responsiveness plus reduce operational costs.
So, with the first phase under way and the second phase looming, the goal of coming out of this extraordinary time in great shape as stronger, hardier and more productive and innovative is in our collective hands. By using new channels, learning new remote leadership techniques and developing strong teams, we can use this time to build our organisational fitness to a level that sees us healthy and in great shape.
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