How to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly in Disruptive Times

How to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly in Disruptive Times

No one could have predicted the number of disruptions that have taken place in the business world this year. Rail strikes, increased fuel costs, and the pandemic after effects have all wreaked havoc on companies in different ways. Anyone who has visited an airport lately will notice the footfall. People are booking holidays, and this makes running business as usual trickier than before. In fact, A survey into annual leave in the UK showed that more people were planning to book holidays this year than any other year in the past decade.

How can you keep your business running smoothly during these disruptive times? In this blog post, we will explore a few strategies that will help you maintain productivity and keeping your team motivated to do more with less.

Focus on a new structure

One of the best ways to keep your team motivated during times of change is to focus on the positive. In his book “The Power of Positive Thinking”, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale talks about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that employees who are optimistic about their company’s future are more likely to be productive. So, what can you do to keep your team’s spirits high during these disruptive times? Put a happy face on it. While certain projects might be bottlenecked by sickness, annual leave or other issues, there are certainly projects you can bring to the forefront.

Did you know that in an analysis of business goal setting, only 12% of employees said that their company’s goals were clear? That means that 88% of your team may not be entirely sure what it is they are working towards. This can lead to feelings of frustration and a lack of motivation. As you focus on what projects you can bring to the forefront and communicate these goals clearly to your team, you’re already laying great foundational bricks to see you through your peak seasons and into the new year.

Adapt how you work.

You might be phone led or email reliant, but working smarter is all about being flexible. What are the key ways to get ahead now? Look at your methods and how you can work smarter not harder. This means being more efficient with the tools that you have available to you. It also may mean hiring some external help in the form of freelancers or third-party services to take on some of the load. While people don’t want to be contacted on annual leave or while sick (rightly so!) one issue you may have never had is prepping projects and workloads based on a much longer view of absences. You may need to invest in systems or software that can track planned absences, so you don’t try and launch a campaign, a product or a service – only to realise that it’s half term again and your senior leadership team will all be off.

At the same time, perhaps you also need to look at how you can dip in and out of a tech stack and what tools there are to automate some of your processes for you. This may never have been a consideration before, but times are changing. Perhaps with a more hybrid or WFH based team, you can now re-evaluate how they work and what they work with.

Consider reward and recognition.

While we aren’t suggesting people are booking annual leave to escape your offices, could there be an issue where people know an important project is coming up but they would rather not be there for it? Perhaps there is a feeling that they might not get the recognition for seeing it through, or being there when things go wrong. A culture that values and recognises good work is crucial to maintaining motivation throughout your team – especially during disruptive times. You may see an increase in people valuing work and the smooth running of the business, as well of course booking the days they need. People may also be more invested in helping their managers be aware of their upcoming days off, and highlighting areas and times when they need more help.

A company with a poor recognition culture will almost certainly have employees who won’t think this way.

It’s never too early to start rewarding your team for a job well done. Thank the team members who have already taken on extra workloads, the team members who have been flexible with their hours, and the team members who have stepped up in other ways. A little recognition goes a long way to maintaining employee morale during disruptive times. You can also use this time as an opportunity to assess your company’s reward and recognition program. If you don’t have one in place, now is the time to create one!

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