We are managing an unprecedented situation. The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected the globe and brought the economy to recession-level lows. Operating a business during this time requires compassion, patience, and the guidance of governments and health organizations. We all want to do our part to protect the health and safety of our communities. Business leaders everywhere are bracing for the economic impact and looking for answers on what they can do for their employees and critical projects.
What is Business Continuity Planning and Resilience Strategy and Why Are They Important?
The key business issue is critical functions that are lost when employees are unwell or now have limited work hours due to newly-added responsibilities such as child care, etc. Companies are exploring remote work which may trigger an acceleration to a new way of working in the future- a new norm. More than ever, companies need to treat talent assets like capital assets and make talent mobility a core element of any business continuity planning and resilience strategy.
By bringing transparency and visibility to your talent assets, you are ensuring that the personnel and critical functions they perform are protected and able to respond in an adaptive and agile way. By breaking down work and putting projects on Hitch, you are able to effectively prioritize critical work that needs to get done – which is then matched with people with the most relevant skills and availability. As a result, Hitch redeploys and even uncovers talent and capacity inside your organization, that you may not be aware that you even had. This is especially relevant when hiring freezes are being implemented in many organizations today during the COVID-19 crisis.
Here’s what we can do to help:
1. Bring Out The Best In People by Building Strong, Agile, and Dynamic Communities
More than ever before, employers need to better understand their talent inventory of skills and demands, to potentially backfill a resource shortage. And now with the power of location data at Hitch, they are able to fill those needs by understanding where their talent is located to optimize cost and speed.
In our current environment where companies are halting hiring, you are able to redeploy capacity and maintain workspeed by putting projects on Hitch. You might be surprised at the talent gold mine sitting right under your nose.
Utilizing the talent you already have saves your enterprise time and money and it bolsters morale among your workforce. Skills are a never-ending cycle of supply and demand and career paths rarely follow the hierarchical structure we saw 20 years ago. Oftentimes employees have skills from a previous role that are not readily visible in their current role. A talent mobility solution will highlight all of the skills of your current workforce, so as a need arises, you can fill it with your current talent rather than sourcing it on the open market.
Hitch customers report an increase in productivity among their workforces as a result of moving to a talent mobility solution. Greater capacity and productivity in a challenging economy are vital to the survival of a company, but they also build a sense of community within your organization as employees feel they are more than their current roles and responsibilities. Transparency of opportunities (which are provided as part of a talent mobility solution) removes the barriers between leaders and the workforce as well. If your workforce has recently been deployed to remote work, the added transparency of new opportunities can keep your workforce engaged while feeling they are part of a growing community.
Support those who are unwell or need flexible working arrangements by adding other people to project teams with complementary working hours. Teaming up colleagues on similar time zones, or based on individual work patterns allows your workforce to have a coworker available for questions, ideas, and collaborating. This collaboration can be a lifeline during challenging times when work is running on a tight schedule. With the power of location data at Hitch, you can easily identify where talent is located to optimize teams.
If you’re a global enterprise looking for 24-hour operations and services, you can build teams with people from around the world. With thoughtful communication, status updates and time zone handover, your project can achieve a productive 24-hour working day. Access to new talent pools and strategic locations are key to building communities in the current environment.
Building an agile organization takes flexibility on several fronts: location, collaboration, support in trying time, and project ownership are only a few of the areas of consideration. In today’s challenging business environment where restructuring and pivoting become commonplace, organizations need an in-depth understanding of the talent they have so they can leverage the skills inside their companies, quickly. Both the workforce and leaders need to remain flexible during a tight economy. Hitch offers a SaaS solution that enables companies to catalog their internal talent and build a skills pipeline. When a restructuring occurs, leaders can respond quickly by redeploying their current workforce effectively to build capacity.
Talent mobility solutions provide quick and easy ways to source talent internally that enable greater visibility into an employee’s capabilities. By gaining visibility into the hidden skills, capabilities and aspirations of their workforce, organizations can more rapidly and cost-effectively match the right talent to solve business challenges in real-time. Providing your workforce with the flexibility of remote work and support when their time is needed elsewhere are only a few elements of being flexible. Redirecting an employee when their position has been eliminated to a new position that utilizes their specific skills, is an example of flexibility and innovation. When you combine these two concepts, you create a dynamic workforce that can respond to fast-moving, volatile markets.
3. Make the Best Out of Technology to Avoid Isolation
In uncertain times it’s critical to stay agile and realize that community exists, and it may look different than it was prior to the crisis. Just because the office is closed, it doesn’t mean that updates and priority-setting don’t happen. Access to projects and data are the first steps in staying on track with deliverables and it is also a great first step to building your transformed organization. Insist on action item completion and manage fast-changing priorities, while appreciating the changes that are emerging.
Here are a few ideas to keep projects on track and your workforce engaged:
- Agree with your team members on specific “micro” action items and due dates on a daily or weekly basis. This is a business best practice that can actually accelerate your deliverables because large tasks can get broken down into small milestones.
- Adopt the agile way of working principle and host shorter, more efficient “stand-up” meetings that last 5-10 minutes to maintain touchpoints with your team.
- Have video meetings, especially group meetings where the leader can set a positive tone in front of your employees. Webex, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams all work well for connecting a remote workforce.
Many companies rely on a remote workforce to maintain their communication and meeting schedules during both regular times and times of crisis. A dispersed workforce, regardless of the reasons the workforce has been dispersed, can be a challenge to keep engaged and productive. Regular check-ins using virtual tools are always helpful to gauge the morale of your remote workforce and greater transparency of what is happening at the corporate office can help as well. Talent mobility solutions, like Hitch, help streamline the process of assembling remote teams, keep people engaged, and generate support for employees interested in skill development and avoiding isolation.
4. Keeping Your Workforce Motivated
Keep your workforce motivated and excited about things to come by posting new opportunities as you build your internal talent marketplace. Emerging from a crisis as a new community with expanded skills can be empowering.
A talent mobility solution, like Hitch, provides employees with a clear view of available opportunities and the pipeline of planned opportunities. Keeping a motivated workforce that is excited about up and coming company opportunities is essential to unlocking their full potential. Additionally, Hitch clients have found that their workforce responds positively to updating their own skills and educational experience on a talent mobility solution. This self-editing allows them to be more than their day jobs and showcase some of their less obvious and underutilized talents.
Motivation is a key element in keeping any workforce productive and engaged. Communication, regular project updates, and flexibility are a few of the things a workforce looks for in a good employer. Leaders set the tone for a workforce and in trying times, leaders are depended upon to drive initiatives, build confidence, keep projects moving forward, and develop strategies to stay competitive and grow. A motivated workforce is a productive workforce and productivity is essential in a tight market. .