Preparing for uncertainty:
As businesses reopen, most do not know what the new normal will be nor expect a quick ramp up in their business. A gardener does not know what the weather will be for the growing season, so they prepare the best infrastructure plan for watering, weeding and fertilizer. So, you must prepare operating processes for remote staff and social distancing. Success requires tools supporting active team communication, easy access to data, rapid and secure access to operating systems, and a platform for collaboration.
Putting the tools in place:
As a gardener sets up the irrigation system, sets a fertilizing calendar and plans for daily observation of growth in the crop, there is a strategy in place. Your staff are analyzing their job functions and how they change with new work rules required by local governments such as distancing and group meeting size. This will cause you to re-examine strategy and logistics. The new tools needed to deal with this environment may or may not be in place in your company. To be successful in this new normal, your infrastructure needs:
- A high-speed VPN for access to systems and internal communication platforms. It must support field teams that may be using cell phones and provide strong security. Redundant systems may be required.
- A video meeting platform for use in collaboration, providing information and training.
- A distribution system for supplies and parts for field staff to operate 100% remotely.
- A web-based customer contact process that provides first class customer service.
- An automated task management system to hold people accountable remotely. New KPIs may be needed and new supervisory/training tools are likely needed.
Growing your crops:
- A gardener begins by preparing the soil so you must begin by determining which jobs can be done remotely and those that cannot. Involve the employee in the decision and solicit their input. They may have family issues to consider. Once you know what is going to be done in the office and what will be remote, you can review your infrastructure needs to support a new operating model.
- New procedures and policies need to be documented and distributed to all employees so everyone knows their responsibilities and new rules of operations. Using feedback from your team in this process, you will discover the key points that need communication to your customers. They will be extremely interested in how you will serve them!
- Communications and accountability are the backbone in distributed operations and customer support. Plan frequent video meetings to keep staff informed and to support the team energy. Communications must flow in all directions and encourage sharing best practices.
Like a successful gardener carefully watching plant growth, a successful leader will be very attentive to the operational and cultural changes that are taking place in their company. Healthy crops and healthy companies provide abundance.
C Squared Solutions provides fractional CFOs and COOs for businesses in nearly all industries. We offer four hours free consultation to help you with the analysis and planning of these steps. Give us a call and let us discuss your concerns.