I think it’s fair to say that we have all had enough of COVID-19. The impact on business and people around the world has been catastrophic. Recent reports state that consumer confidence will not return to pre-COVID levels until the last quarter of 2024. It seems reasonable that the timeline could be this long; conflicting information makes it impossible to know what’s real and what isn’t. The fact that there are so many varied opinions is the primary reason why consumer confidence will not likely return for several more years.
Still, the human race is very resilient, and businesses are doing everything they can to maximize anything they can. You would expect firms to do this continuously, but the fact is that sometimes it takes a catastrophic, or at least unexpected, event to drive real change.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute poll tallied the most significant improvements businesses are chasing in the wake of COVID. Speed, cost reduction, and productivity were the top three responses, with customer focus as a distant fourth.
Employees engaged in their work and committed to what they’re doing are faster, more cost-efficient, more productive, and more customer-focused. The foundation for engaging employees is what you feed them (e.g., how well they know and understand your culture, processes, expectations, and desired outcomes).
We are also interested in speed, cost reduction, productivity, and customer focus in our company – and how to do all four of them at the same time. We maintain meticulous and engaging documentation on everything we do. All of our people know exactly where to access it and what to do if they have questions or feedback. And, just like every company, many of these things are changing daily – now more than ever. We move and pivot so fast precisely because we have taken the time to create exciting and informative content and processes for our people. We’ve taken the time to educate them on where to find them and how to ask questions. When you do the same, it will pay dividends you never realized were possible.
It may seem hard to believe, but how you present and distribute your company processes has a giant impact on your company culture. All companies have processes. Not creating and distributing them well creates a shaky and unstable foundation. When you don’t have a solid foundation, everything else you do, no matter how well, is less effective, and your people know it. If you want to crush it in 2021, go back to your foundation. Don’t just shore it up; rebuild it – and watch your people and your company soar.