Lockdowns are slowly lifting around the UK, providing businesses with an opportunity to reflect on what has, and hasn’t, worked during the pandemic.
While the pandemic has no doubt been incredibly challenging for businesses, there have been some positives to come out of lockdown that companies should consider keeping in place once everything returns to normal.
Develop a strong workplace culture
Strong workplace culture can truly transform a business and enhance its productivity, encouraging staff to become the organisation’s biggest supporters.
Throughout these unprecedented times, businesses with engaged, motivated employees have been able to pivot more efficiently, thanks to the support of their staff and a cohesive team structure. It’s during such times that a strong workplace culture really shines and it’s certainly shown its value over the past year.
In the future, businesses need to focus on developing a healthy culture through frequent, honest communication and collaboration that will put the wellbeing of their staff at the top of the list.
The ability to be flexible
The vast majority of businesses that had projects and marketing campaigns lined up for 2020 were quickly brought down to earth when the pandemic struck. Suddenly, we were forced to rethink our strategies and pivot as quickly as possible.
But what this taught many business owners is that it’s entirely possible to do successfully and that the months of planning and meaningless meetings spent deliberating that would have once taken place weren’t necessary.
Using data to make decisions that enable flexibility and adaptability mean that we know we can respond more quickly in the future – businesses that know how to embrace change and work with it rather than against it will thrive.
A digital-first approach
The pandemic taught us to use technology to its full potential and that’s something that businesses can take forward to help them work smarter and more efficiently.
Whether it’s enabling flexible working, making a switch to e-commerce over brick-and-mortar stores or using apps to communicate with customers instantly and provide a more efficient service, businesses can streamline their services through technology.
Technology has opened doors for enhancing business offerings and streamlining processes that have been far more effective than just temporary workaround solutions.
Focus on communication
Communication has always been a core component of successful businesses but one of the key takeaways from this experience has been prioritising communication at every stage of the customer journey. Without physical contact, businesses have had to find new ways to stay connected and make their services accessible.
Customers want reassurance that their needs are understood and that organisations are truly listening to them. Going forward, businesses need to find the best channels to engage with their audience to develop a real rapport.
Prioritise genuine relationships
One of the main things that lockdown has taught us is the value of relationships. Being forced to slow down, without the pressure of meetings and busy schedules, has given us all time to take stock and realise just how much we value the people in our lives.
For businesses, forging a genuine connection with their customers will be paramount going forward and it’s something that we should continue to prioritise long after lockdowns have been lifted in order to build authentic trust and loyalty.
Collaboration between remote teams, working across numerous projects, has meant that finding a more efficient way of working has been the key to success.
So many businesses around the world have turned to collaboration tools and software to make working more efficient and to clear the wheat from the chaff when it comes to how we operate day-to-day.
Striking a better work-life balance was a goal of so many employees prior to the pandemic and what being forced to work remotely has led us to do is find ways to make that possible, with great success in many cases.
Lockdown has taught us all valuable lessons, both in our personal lives and when it comes to running a business. But while the pandemic has certainly been difficult, there are positives to take from it that we can use in the future to make more informed decisions and operate organisations more productively.
By moving forward with these constructive learnings in mind, we can ensure that we don’t lose the beneficial wisdom that we’ve gained from going through these challenges as a collective.
Whether it’s finding better ways of working with our colleagues, prioritising genuine connections with customers to build loyalty or understanding that sometimes change is a positive thing, there’s plenty to take from lockdown that can serve us well in the future.