Adjusting To The New Economy

Is this economy changing the way you do business? For the better or worse?

As business starts to open again, we are noticing that nothing is “normal” anymore. We hear a lot of people talk about how they just want things to go back to normal. Honestly, I think we all need to create our new normal. The old way we went about our day and conducted work is gone.

Contingent workers are people that businesses do not need to keep long term or offer benefits to and so on. You can hire them temporarily with little to no documentation of keeping them forever. A lot of future businesses will probably be able to be conducted this way. Have a core group of staff and then fill in the rest with contingent workers.

Where we are finding people struggle the most is through how they handle staff working from home. If a business can get used to using contingent workers, they may be able to solve the issue of having people work from home. Hire people for what you need, and not just because you need a part-time position.

Corporate Strategy Consulting | Adjusting To The New Economy

What are Contingent Workers

To continue with our topic on contingent workers. They can be described as;

  • Hired based on a project by project basis
  • They are not an employee of the business
  • They are not the same as a contractual worker. When hired on a contract, they are placed on a contract with the business.
  • Contingent workers can be freelancers
  • They can be consultants
  • They can be outsourced
  • Contingent workers can be outsourced of non-permanent nature
  • They are almost always temporary
  • Contingent workers offer flexible staffing

As you can see with the description of a contingent worker, you as a business can start to see the benefits of them. You will probably at some point soon have jobs like this that you need to be completed and a contingent worker can fit in nicely to fill a project or task gap in your business.

Staffing for The New Economy

We are all in the midst of a new economy. We believe that our old normal does not exist or has a very little resemblance. Through research over the past weeks and months, we have come up with a list of things the new economy will present us all. It is not an all-inclusive list, but hopefully, it gets a group thought process working towards a new business model. Several of them are;

  • Be online – this should go without saying, but being online and offering things like Zoom calls, will give you and your clients advantages of saving travel time and having quick access to necessary files. Start taking tutorials on how to become more efficient in conducting businesses online.
  • Provide clear and consistent goals – staff are scattered right now and not immediately accessible. Your ability as a leader to provide clear and consistent goals on a every week is needed. Your regular goals will probably need to be broken down even more than they already are. Set them up weekly on a Friday for the following week. By keeping them weekly in length, you won’t lose productivity on tasks.
  • Planning – if you thought that you planned efficiently in the past, you will want to increase your ability to plan even more. Many people will be afraid of in-person meetings and schedules will be misaligned. With a lot of people working at home, they become more efficient and as a result take on more tasks to complete. Plan on increasing your planning ability.
  • Collaboration – or communication, it depends on how you want to label it. You will want to encourage people to talk more and work together more from a distance. People are used to walking next door or yelling across a hall. This has become a difficult thing to do now. Set up an in-house way of communicating and stick to it. If you all want to email, just send emails. Don’t have one person emailing, another texting and another calling. Things will get missed.
  • Be innovative – Canada in particular suffers miserably in innovation. However, in less than ideal times right now, people and businesses need to innovate their business to become relevant to the times.
  • Create a New Benefits Structure – with people working from home or less time than normal, you may want to consider a new benefits structure to reflect the working hours.
  • Use the same language – when communicating, you want to use the same work-appropriate language where you remove slang or sarcastic comments from written communication. Text is the absolute worse for this. The writer could fully intend on meaning to be sarcastic but comes across to the reader as sarcastic and then a bad feeling is left to the reader. When you were standing face to face with people in the past, you can read a person’s body language. Now, that has gone away when working from a distance, so keep the work language relevant.
  • Job descriptions and seniority will change – businesses for a long time have been trying to go to a flatter hierarchy chart. Through this pandemic, that has naturally been occurring. As a result, human resources should be reviewing job descriptions and seniority levels. This could also impact compensation and benefits packages.
  • Staffing sustainability – how sustainable are staff in the new economy. Can people rely on their job anymore? Do your past staff fit your new reality? Yes, a business will have to lay people off, there is no doubt about that, but owners and leaders need to communicate more effectively with staff and let them know the effects of the new business philosophy. You as a leader owe the staff around you, the truth. Don’t purposely hide messages from staff.

With your owner and leadership group, be infinitely ready for change. Change is going to come at you quickly over the coming months. Start planning and preparing today for tomorrow’s reality.

Strategy for The New Economy

As a consulting group, we talk a lot about strategy and whether it is existing or emerging. Emerging comes out of something new, that changes your perception. You are all in the midst of a new economy that is emerging. We all have an idea of how things are going to change, but the details are not quite worked out yet! As a business, our clients are going to have new expectations. The following list will hopefully give you some ideas on how to attract new clients and keep your existing ones happy. Again, they are not all conclusive, but several are listed to get your mind working;

  • Provide exemplary value – this should be a given at all times. But as a business, we all become complacent at times and expect clients will always be there. When businesses work remotely, it has the potential to offer cheaper services, and we believe this will take a lot of others by surprise. Review the value you provide clients and see if there is a way to offer a more competitive price for services rendered.
  • Strengthen the bond with your existing clients – it has been proven by many that it is much easier to keep existing clients than it is to find new ones! There is a lot of effort in the form of marketing, sales, reassurance and so on that goes into finding and acquiring new clients. Ensure you are talking with your existing clients and how their business needs have changed.
  • Operational plans will change – with a pandemic and everyone concerned about their health, people want to naturally keep a distance. But business still needs to be conducted as well. Work on your operational plans and make adjustments where needed.
  • Has your brand changed – this can impact a lot of business that relies on tasks that involve having people in the field managing business. One business that comes to mind is talent management and acquisition. These businesses live off of entertaining in groups. How has this changed your brand, and what do you need to do differently to ensure your business thrives?
  • Has the business goals changed – goals are a business requirement and need to be visited at least every quarter to ensure that everyone is on the same path. Take this time to ensure your goals match your new business.
  • Are requests up or down for work to be completed – what are you doing to adjust to demand? Laying people off requires constant communication, so ensure staff are aware of what is happening, so it gives them a chance to find other work if need be. If the business is increasing, you need to create processes that encourage growth plans.
  • What is your new competitive advantage – with great change comes many new opportunities. Are you capitalizing on them?
  • Where is your technology capability – many meetings have moved to online forums. Ensure you are taking tutorials on how to use this new technology.
  • Has your supply chain changed – the businesses that you used to use are still in business to provide your business with the necessary workflow? How is procurement finding new resources to help?
  • Does it cost you more or less to do business now – how has the economy impacted your cost and how are you adjusting to it? Is your product or service increased or decreased in the price? Research your impact and make a plan.

With a new economy emerging your business staffing and strategy are going to change. Your business can be growing or receding, but either way, you need to make a plan amongst the people that make decisions. When you have finalized this process, you need to communicate with the staff that works for you. Keeping them in the dark in times like this is not right and unprofessional. Staff are working towards your business dream, so the least you can do is explain to them what you are going through as a business.

If you need any help with any of these topics, feel free to reach out to our business consulting group at Future to Now Consulting for more information.