It is an unprecedented event which will change the future course of business permanently. We will notice a further optimisation of the resources and the manpower dependency, making it a more flexible and shock absorbing in nature. We have seen both the examples here – companies which adjusted well and those who could not bear the shock or impacted heavily in their operations. This made the overall business environment worrying about how vulnerable they are in light of such unforeseen challenges. Here are few guiding principles to be kept in mind to be successful in India in a post COVID life.
Firstly, the WFH (Work from home) is a reality now, where we have to allow and simultaneously monitor the performance of the employees while calculating their productivity levels as well. Without naming any of the services provider, we have many companies who are facilitating such operations streamlined to the expectations. Not commenting upon how functional they are – we want to highlight the indispensable aspect of team work i.e. how the team sees itself in this testing time. Is the team motivated equal to pre Covid times or the team is disintegrating with time. How to ensure the team leader is managing the team well or do we really need a team leader now?
Secondly, there is an uncontrolled demand & supply environment which is staring at our face. Leaders have to not only manage the current situation well but they need to steer the business by evaluating the future viability while adjusting the course of action. They have to highlight the underlying principle of viability and take tough decisions like cutting down employees strength or appoint new vendors or they need to cut the competition by adjusting the prices or liquid their low earning assets to pump in the more vulnerable operations. There’s a need to retrospect the hitherto performing business to ensure future existence of the company if not handicapped for a long time. We have to clearly demarcate the do’s & don’t in the days to come so that not a single penny is spend on something without which the business can survive and only those indispensable organs of the organisation shall be supported. Do you think all the employees are indispensable? Aren’t you thinking of adopting AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
Thirdly, the product & services itself need to be thought off. There is a wide introspection among humans to replan their expenses & only needful are to be listed at the moment. This can go in any direction which the leaders have to gauge thoroughly & sensibly for example: I can spend on either my kids toys or pets or my own social needs; this will be much guided by the consumer class we served earlier & at what price did we sold our services or products. Well, the chances are the humans are going to serve their families in a more confined way along with maintaining a higher savings to dodge this uncertain possibilities of the future. An earning member will be considering the worst case scenarios and survival of such events to a much longer time. They will give less importance to earlier considered as indispensable like status recognition. There is a need to understand the consumers psychology more than the collective sociology as the Covid-19 has taught us very well – that ultimately it is the family which we need to protect & support for long in uncertainty rather than being more consumeristic. Materialistic lifestyle will take a backseat, like before, and the human interaction & family values will be the new normal. Thus, the new strategic decision must look through this prism.
Environment is another blessing in disguise which we can see around us. We humans have taught ourself the hard way, the need to preserve the environment and the way forward is ensuring that the human race gets more evolved in values & ethos of natural living than artificially constructed landscapes. This then puts us in a tough situation of our earlier point – optimising our business operations. How can we be empathetic and efficient at the same time? I feel the time is right to extend the Marxist idea of capitalist class, who only exploited, to a capitalist class which prioritised employees and preferred the declining profits instead of firing them. The way forward for the businesses now is to adopt technology & realign the skills of the workforce in a way that their association with the company increases, motivation is re-established and loyalties are reinforced. We have to understand what these technologies are?
MCG is continuously scanning both the sides of the story i.e. employer’s & employee’s. We are also incorporating a futuristic model in finding the right balance between the expectations of the management and the grievances of the employees. Who is right, is not the question, but who is willing to adjust & adapt will be the key now in the face of Covid-19. The extend of adjustments will now determine who will stay afloat and while doing so, we cannot ignore the very fact that we shall leave no one behind.
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