Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More (Getting Back to work - 5/8)
GETTING BACK TO WORK
As we inch closer to returning to work, you must evaluate the status of your organization in order to ensure you're making the best decisions going forward. Creating a powerful continuation plan if you decide to stay the course with remote work permanently or for an extended period requires an evaluation of what has (or has not) worked during the test cycle created by COVID response requirements. Organizations will need to take a real look at viability in the delivery model, creating protocols on delivery methods that meet client expectations and setting expectations so that teams understand they are at work rather than an extended vacation.
Measure client reactions to your service levels during the recent remote work phase you were forced into. Ask your clients if the level of service felt better or needs improvement, and get feedback on how they felt your support helped or hurt their ability to meet the needs your team has been hired for. Ask about services they have discovered they need additional support with or where they feel they may need to make adjustments because they can deliver work without your support. Getting honest feedback will keep you and your team from making investments in relationships that have changed. This will also help you understand how to shift your services into value driven delivery that is actually needed.
Measure internal enthusiasm to the new delivery models. It does you no good to convert to remote work delivery if your team does not buy-in. This may be a more effective way to get to client outcomes but you have to re-position internally to drive solutions. Ask team members what works and doesn’t work, what tools have meant more to them in this environment and what is missing that will help them deliver better outcomes. See if their responses align with the savings and efficiencies driving you to consider the model. Create internal stakeholder education tools that share the delivery vision going forward, create a feedback loop that is real and provides comfort over the new work delivery model you are focused on.
Consider pay and similar work condition impacts worker classification, equitable pay and safety should all be part of your evaluation. According to Forbes and a leading employment lawyer they consulted you need to consider this an extension of your workplace and making sure employees are safe, have guidance on expectations and protocols become significantly more important. Check their view out here.
Measure projected opportunity: does this new version of your business delivery create new opportunities, expand capacity, deliver new market segments, or expand potential service models? If so, you will need to “Plan your work and work your plan.” Evaluate the model to see if it creates new business with existing clients or expands the potential client base.
Review prior delivery against the new model. Does the remote version reduce or increase client touch points, allow for new opportunity discussions, or make it harder to be seen as a valuable contributor?
Check out the true costs. Does this model mean you need to invest in new technology access, security measures, safety measures or tools that were not planned expenses? Does the risk justify the reward?
Control vs autonomy. A remote workforce is one that has an increased responsibility by virtue of separation its important to consider the level of autonomy that is being created and the level of comfort you have with releasing control over some portion of your client response model.
Review the long-term value of this new delivery method. Can you sustain and acquire existing and new business for an extended investment in this model? Does it make your business more or less attractive to potential customers and can you deliver on growth expectations in this new reality post-COVID.