Business Management Lessons Learned From The Coronavirus Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic was the first time most of us had ever been involved in a crisis of that proportion. As it turned out, there was no single path forward – so much so that different countries responded in wildly divergent fashion. As an example, while Australia was completely shut down, Sweden was actively working toward herd immunity.
Businesses reacted in a variety of ways as well. Retail, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and support are all examples of industries. Each sector – and each organization – responded to the difficult situation in a slightly different way.
As the world begins to settle into a new normal, it is appropriate to reflect on the early emergency responses that were carried out. Was there any part of the various approaches that were correct? Perhaps more importantly, which parts of the text were incorrect? Through the application of lessons learned from business management mistakes made in 2020, organizations can ensure that they are better prepared to successfully navigate any unexpected events that may arise in the future.
Here are four of the most important business management lessons that organizations across all industries can learn:
1) People come first
.It has been reported that approximately 50% of employees have expressed an interest in leaving their jobs once the world returns to its previous state. Why? It’s reasonable to assume that the (potentially) upcoming mass turnover is being caused by the fact that almost the same percentage of people were dissatisfied with how their employer responded to the pandemic, even though there are many other possible explanations for this. The potential ramifications of this could be catastrophic, with businesses struggling to find qualified candidates for critical positions promptly.
It has become clear that people must come first in all situations. Business owners and managers must put their employees first, assisting them through difficult times and providing them with the tools, knowledge, and autonomy they require to remain productive in uncertain working conditions. A good place to start putting this lesson into practice is in the area of communication. According to the State of Shift Work report for 2021, 82 percent of shift workers want better communication from their employers, including clear and transparent messaging about expectations and plans for the future.
2) Flexibility matters
In the past, business management was considered to be fairly rigid, but the managers and organizations that emerged from the pandemic the strongest were those that were willing to experiment with new levels of flexibility in their day-to-day business operations. Scheduling is one area in which flexibility has proven to be essential. Flexible scheduling allows some business managers to adapt scheduling processes to meet changing demand while also filling staffing gaps caused by illness or isolation more quickly and easily.
Business offerings are another area where adaptability has been critical in navigating the current crisis. Businesses operating in the most hard-hit industries have found success through diversification, as evidenced by the breweries that supply closed bars switching to the production of hand sanitizers. ‘Companies should consider diversifying their activities, even if doing so is not the most cost-effective option,’ according to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ 2020 insights report.
3) Digitisation isn’t voluntary
A range of technological capabilities is reported by companies who successfully responded to the crisis but which are not reported by their competitors. In a recent McKinsey report, which highlights one of the most important business management lessons to emerge from the pandemic, it is stated that digitization is not an optional process. It is not merely a “nice to have,” but rather a critical component of business continuity. Businesses can now facilitate remote working, communicate with customers, and, ultimately, remain relevant thanks to technological advancements.
Organizations today should be utilizing business management software, such as quality management software, supplier software, human resource, and people management software, and corrective action software, which can not only aid in the development of long-term resilience but can also aid in the recovery of organizations in the short term. The overarching lesson to be learned from this experience is that it is critical to invest the necessary time and resources into designing, developing, and implementing a robust digital strategy that can support organizations as they grow and develop.
4) Risk management shouldn’t be an afterthought
One year before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the business world forever, it was reported that 69 percent of organizations did not have an effective risk management process in place, according to a report published in 2018. At the time, the risk was largely considered an afterthought; risk was theoretically possible but never materialized as a reality. It’s becoming all too obvious that the worst-case scenario is a possibility. And the lesson to be learned from this is that business managers should think of risk as a likely and very real possibility rather than as an inconvenience.
When faced with adversity, today’s business leaders should be working to develop strong risk management strategies as well as carefully constructed contingency plans that can help to protect the organization’s people, reputation, and cash flow. Many businesses have unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way, but it is a lesson that can be used to help minimize the impact of future crises and ensure that organizations can continue operating effectively in the wake of unforeseen events.
If we could turn back time…
According to the findings of the study, approximately half of all business managers were dissatisfied with their COVID-19 response and would do things differently if they had the opportunity to start over. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way around it. After that, we must learn from our mistakes and ensure that we are prepared to act in the most effective manner possible when confronted with similar situations shortly.