If you are like me, you are wrestling with what everyone is calling the “new normal” once businesses return to work. The last 60 days have been packed with conference calls, peer-to-peer calls, and Zoom video conferences. I personally participate in a peer group and one of the biggest concerns I hear is “how do we maintain and restore our company culture when the constraints on our business are lifted?” Our company has been working 50/50 remotely. Accounting and sales work remotely for the most part. I notice more mistakes and higher stress on people who are in the office. They are having to do extra work to keep operations running smooth. My guess is you all are struggling with similar, if not identical, challenges. Below are some steps we have taken to create a vision for when we all return.
Create a vision for your company. Our employees were asked to provide their vision for how the business will look when we come back to work. Each of their prophecies were printed, studied and common themes were highlighted. After this, I scripted the vision of our company post COVID-19. Each person had a voice in this vision, versus the CEO telling them his one-sided selfish ideas. The response was wonderful!
Meet with your key employees and dig deeper. After compiling my interpretation of their vision, I met with several key stakeholders and clarified, questioned and asked for their feedback. Once we made sure my understanding of their thoughts was accurate, the vision was written. Common themes emerged. A winning attitude shined.
Roll out the vision. In our company meeting, with appropriate social distancing and some participating remotely, the plan was shared. Not only did everyone feel included, they were energized! Pages of feedback were simplified into one bullet point page. The blueprint was shared slowly to the entire company. Everyone had the opportunity to weigh-in one last time.
The vision. While this all sounds so simple, I feel like this exercise was essential to our future success. The importance of getting everyone rowing in the same direction cannot be underestimated. The remote plan worked and having done this project will prove to be an asset to us when we all return. Without printing the entire vision, I will share some keywords and themes my wonderful staff promoted to me:
- Aggressive and kind mindset for accounts receivable
- Capitalize on opportunities
- Can-do, warrior-like attitude
- Grateful to serve
- Tighter expense control
These words all came from my employees and not me. Imagine that. Tucked away in their vision were words that reflect the core values we have worked so hard to instill. They all now have ownership of the dreams and plans of the other side of this pandemic.