How Businesses Can Be a Platform for Change As They Emerge from the Pandemic

  • Empower workers to do their jobs. Companies have transitioned to remote work virtually overnight, leaving employees with an urgent need to skill up to succeed in an all-digital world. In the Salesforce survey, 65% of respondents felt that workforce development must be a high priority for businesses and that they should leverage technology for this purpose. One of the best ways companies can support their communities and promote an inclusive future is to provide employees with accessible ways to build the skills they need to work at home or in a hybrid environment.
  • Prioritize employee health and safety. According to Salesforce’s survey, people believe that the highest priority for businesses should be adopting technology to ensure workplace safety. Employees are rightly concerned about the risks of going back to the office, and many are struggling with burnout and overwhelm in an all-digital world. Centering employee safety and well-being in plans to get back to work will set the stage for resilient growth.
  • Become more value-driven. Business leaders have a choice as they recover from the pandemic: They can re-establish the status quo, or they can draw on lessons learned to come out stronger. Leaders can take this opportunity to redefine the companies values — the core set of principles guiding the company — by listening to employees, customers, shareholders and vendors. Identifying these values is not enough on its own; the next step is to back them up with action. That can mean rethinking brand messaging, launching new training programs, considering diversity in recruiting and hiring or auditing and correcting pay inequities. This is an opportunity for companies to change perceptions of their brands and align their culture around shared commitments.
  • Prepare for the unknown. If there’s one thing this year has taught us, it’s that nobody can predict the future. But that doesn’t mean companies can’t plan for 2021 and beyond. Salesforce’s survey found that 95% of people believe adaptability will be an important skill over the next six months, and the majority expected companies to emerge from the pandemic more resilient than they were before. Scenario planning — for example, around different outcomes for the pandemic — can help companies prepare for whatever lies ahead. Collaboration across the company and a willingness to try new ideas even if they fail are key to building agility.

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Tiffani Bova

Tiffani Bova

2.4K Followers

Global Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce | Sales and Transformation Adviser | Book: Growth IQ| Podcast: What's Next! | Former Research Fellow Gartner