BEFORE COVID, AFTER COVID: CRISIS OR OPPORTUNITY?
Pessimists are already mourning the time when “lockdown” and “social distancing” were not part of our everyday language. But what if we tried a positive approach and saw the crisis as an opportunity or at least as prompting fresh ways of thinking?
In practical terms, companies have to reconcile and juggle different constraints every day. Because of government measures in particular, we need to be more responsive and flexible than ever. Apart from the health of our own employees, we must focus on the needs of our customers so as to best meet their expectations despite the difficulties we face.
The positive side of the crisis is that it casts a spotlight not just on our strengths, but also on our weak points, and we can decide to focus on making improvements in them.
Health management is coming to be a key factor in business. We can only get by if we have motivated and healthy teams.
If employees feel a real connection with the company, they are more creative, and they are also more committed; this makes it possible to compensate for having to work in “degraded mode” and for coping with the difficulty of geographic fragmentation and working conditions that do not always concentrate the “intellectual ferment of the whole”.
The challenge lies in accepting a new normal: companies and their employees must now learn to live with threats and uncertainties that were not part of their daily lives previously. What processes need to be adapted and how, so that the distancing and health rules can be obeyed without jeopardising the proper functioning of the company and our customer service quality?
COVID-19 has unleashed a veritable tsunami of new thinking and rapid change. A team spirit, responsiveness and the ability to reorganise over a very short period have enabled us, notably, to set up teleworking by using digital tools – measures that would never have been devised so quickly had it not been for the crisis. The best thing is that it has all worked reasonably well!
This threat is an opportunity to rethink everything; employees have been forced to operate differently, without fixed processes set in stone. They have been able to try out new situations, and these forced reappraisals are undoubtedly ushering in many improvements on the past. Our operations could actually incorporate teleworking as a productivity booster, thanks to a solid foundation of confidence and in compliance with the laws and regulatory limitations.
Right now, we have to learn and perpetuate good practice by adapting our business organisations and lifestyles so as to carry on living and working, and by protecting those at risk without damaging the economy, since the pandemic may either last or else disappear, only to resurface in an alternative form.
Every crisis or difficulty presents a new opportunity to show agility and flexibility. So it is up to all of us to reinvent ourselves and make the best of the situation.
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