2020 has been nothing short of stressful, frustrating, and unpredictable. As businesses approach a new year, it is the perfect time to re-evaluate operational and organizational efficiencies. Preparing for the new normal in 2021 may look a little different than most years as the COVID situation continues to evolve. Some topics that might be worth exploring and addressing include continuing recovery, creating a business strategy for extended remote work and worst-case scenarios, resuming business travel, and year end reviews.
Continued Business Recovery
Part of survival in any business is adaptability. It is imperative for businesses to be agile in their operational and organizational structure to promptly adjust to unforeseen crises or events that impact such efficiencies, like COVID. One way to continue business recovery is examining areas of improvement. Digital wellness is one area where most businesses can still improve. With a majority of companies shifting to a remote work setting, bridging the gap between IT and HR is one of many ways businesses may boost digital wellness in the virtual workplace.
Developing a Business Strategy
Developing a business strategy is in the core foundation of business best practices. It helps outline a path and appropriate responses for obstacles along the way. Your business strategy should address remote work, addressing workplace safety, and employee wellness to ensure effective communication is utilized, staffing needs are met, and employee well-being is prioritized.
Additionally, developing a crisis management plan – or updating an existing one – to encompass public health crises is integral to effective business strategies. This is where worst-case scenarios should be addressed, such as if an employee receives a positive COVID test result and extensions to remote work policies should the COVID situation continue to evolve in the new year.
Resuming Business Travel and Events
Some businesses have already resumed business travel, but have restricted employees to travel only for essential business-related events. Additional precautions businesses may implement are self-quarantine periods upon return from business travel, daily employee health screenings, and/or discounts or perks for alternative means of travel (i.e., driving vs flying).
A great alternative to attending in-person events is hosting webinars. Webinars are great tools for connecting businesses to a wide range of clients, business owners, and other relevant professionals in their industry. For example, VensureHR has hosted many webinars for various HR topics, such as COVID-related topics, mental health issues in the workplace, and other general HR topics.
Year End Reviews
As you approach the new year, whether you’ve laid off or furloughed employees since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, end of year reviews are a great opportunity to reward your employees, as well as re-evaluate your business goals for the upcoming year.
A year end review template may include four sections, and should be a two-way conversation:
- Checking in: This can be an opening, casual dialogue discussing general topics (i.e., workflow, holiday plans, etc.) and the overall purpose of this year end review.
- One-year reflection: This section should include employee progress, addressing obstacles, and areas of improvement.
- Looking to the future: This part may focus on goal setting, i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals.
- Next steps: To close out the end of year review, recap the goals discussed, as well as any next steps each individual must take.
To help prepare you for the New Year in the new normal, partnering with a PEO like VensureHR may be in your best interest. From HR and employee benefits to payroll and risk management, our industry-leading PEO services offer innovative, cost-effective business solutions for companies of all sizes across various industries. Contact us to learn more.