How to efficiently handle a crisis in an organisation?, HRSEA News, ETHRWorldSEA
Post-pandemic world of work has learnt the biggest lesson of all times – to be prepared to deal with any crisis and be future-ready, considering the rapid changes that are happening globally in the world of work. Organisations across the world have realised that crisis occurs more often than one can expect and disrupt a major chunk of work and workforce. Thus, crisis management has become the most critical of all tasks for organisations and is considered to be the process of strategy building that can help sustain any organisation amidst any crisis.
A crisis always comes unannounced and creates a hazardous environment for both, the workplace and the workforce. When crisis comes calling, organisations get in direct need to act fast and take quick decisions. Crisis management is like first aid on a fresh wound. The outcome, however, isn’t pleasant for all, as organisations often end up taking drastic decisions to deal with crises, which primarily adversely impact the workforce. For example, the most common decision any organisation takes to deal with emergency situation is to cut down on its resources and workforce, which subsequently leads to lay- offs. Is it a good thing to do? Nope! But in the absence of thoughtful strategy, this is what most organisations end up doing.
Better be prepared and farsighted
So, how does one deal with a the crisis and overcome it? Well, the trick lies in being future-ready, prepared and aware ofcrisess that may occur. Workplaces need to be prepared and future-ready: The business landscape has changed incredibly in the past two and a half years. While some organisations are doing their best to handle disruption, others are still paving their way to become future-ready. The dispersion of skills has been a major shift in how we operate now. The work-from-home model has allowed organisations to also look beyond boundaries for talent. The development of technology as much pure idea of inventions has supported this through vastly improved technologies, and much improved cyber risk solutions, allowing greater system access to employees remotely. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in this area are becoming increasingly important and continues to improve, making organisations better prepared, equipped and future-ready.
The workforcee needs to upskilled: Workforce, on their part, need to be proactive and take control of their careers when a crisis strikes. If you have established yourself as a top performer, even the slightest setback will pour water over all your efforts. Employees who work from the office are immediately notified of the crisis. It is best to ramp up your speed and ensure that your work is noticed.
If managers are aware of what you’re working on, they will be aware of the loss if you are laid off. Even if you are working remotely, you can simply increase your communication with your leader or superior. Send them updates now and then on what can be a quick resort to any problem. Always show up to meetings right on time; prove to your organisation that you exist in spirit to, and are ready to take on more work as and when the situation demands. A crisis situation demands quick and farsighted actions; just like a soldier is swift in taking decisions on a battlefield, you must show your promptness of action at workplace during a crisissituationsn.
Upskilling/reskilling has a pivotal role to play when it comes to handling changes in every aspect of work, right from adopting the most advanced technologies to the cultural transformation. Even if many organisations offer development courses, chances are they
will not be available during a crisis. Regardless, you must continue to improve your skills. Understand the needs of the situation, and matchthemt with what is expected from you.
Technically challenges: The role of technology in dealing with crisis management cannot be ruled out. Organisations must apply technology to what they do – automate it. Organisations must realise that digital transformation should not be the goal; it must be taken as a means to an end. They must also realise that there is no everlasting solutions. Your solution can be obsolete even before you start implementing it. It is important thus to design and refine end-to-end implementation strategy. It can thus be reused. There is a dire need to have a growth mindset, flexibility and adaptability to the changing times. Remember, technology can offer and design solutions to optimise what you do.
The potential users need to be educated in the power of technology and be engaged with providers to design and implement what needs to be done. Any sustainable solution must be developed as a joint venture. What is needed is a powerful combination of rigorous design process and an in-depth understanding of human psychological factors. Design thinking challenges us to test before implementation. We must be creative and ready to take the challenge.
Digital transformation means optimising an organisation’s performance and sustainability by combining the power of contemporary technology with the insights that informed and committed humans can add. Besides, avoid automating what you already have. Make digital transformationis an ongoing process and function. Above all, apply the design thinking methodology to optimise the return on your investment.
Enhancing and expanding the field of talent: The most powerful learning of the pandemic has been the fact that people must be at the core of any organisation, and must be given their due to be successful. Organisations must win the hearts and minds of their people at every step of their journey. Engage, educate and empower them! Tap into their functional expertise, win their support and ensure that digital transformation empowers them and not make them redundant.
Recognise the growing gap happening from what was expected from the business to what is expected. The shift from shareholder primacy to serving the needs of stakeholders is gaining momentum. Organisations have to be willing and able to disrupt how and why decisions are made in and for their business. This disruption must happen with every meeting, every day until decisions are made for stakeholders, not just shareholders. As with future-focused thinking, the effort to shift to a stakeholder mindset requires diligently rooting out obsolete knowledge about why you are doing what you are doing, and how you will do it within your organisation.
Organisations need to address the challenge of transforming. Learn from the available talent, respect them, share your vision with them, and most importantly, engage with them. Engage your stakeholders for understanding of the problems and possible solutions. Remember, together you can make a difference.
Workforce must expand its learning horizons: While as a fresher, one needs more time to complete a task, as one gains experience, the workflow improves as one becomes aware of lesser-known shortcuts without sacrificing quality. Every employer expects this, and, in many instances, employees cannot keep pace with this expectation.
If you are in an organisation that is driven by success, you need to keep improving your workflow as a way to sustain yourself. Crisis management often forces organisations to let go of valuable employees as they can’t wait for them to increase their pace and
performance. So, taking this learning, make improving your performance your mission to ensure it isn’t just about you, but about the entire world of work that expects you to keep pace with the changing times to succeed. So, do all that you can to boost your appetite towards learning newer things to enhance your performance.
When you join an organisation, they expect you to keep improving and increase your responsibilities over time. If you have been in the same role for years, you will be replaced soon with fresh minds who can get more done in the same amount of time. In this rapidly-changing world of today, it is critical for you to constantly upgrade and enhance your skills and pace. Remember, you become an asset to the organisation when finding a replacement for you is the less-desirable option for them. Match their growth pace, and you would need to worry the least about job security.
And last but not the least, regardless of the crisis at your workplace, do not panic and keep interacting with everyone. It is natural to be concerned, but it is best not to allow hearsay to permeate your mental space or hamper your working. Utilise your free time to stay in touch with your colleagues and introduce yourself to various opportunities and newer avenues of growth that not only help you grow as an individual, but also enables you to help your organisation succeed as well.
To sum it up, the pandemic and the subsequent crisis has given us an opportunity to stand back and assess on what happens when the system comes to a sudden halt. It has offered us a rare opportunity to assess the mechanics of the operations inside and outside businesses. It has given the world of work a chance to see what being a human-centric business actually means. And the learning is up on the wall: Rising to the challenge of caring for one another in a time of need is fundamentally human-centric. It is a proven fact now that workplaces and workforce are more likely to succeed in the face of challenge and capture more opportunities for the future if they make agile decisions that are guided by a shared set of beliefs, decisions, and actions.