How Businesses Are Adapting in Challenging Times21st January 2021
Many of us have faced challenges over the past few months, both personally and professionally. Many organisations have had to navigate unchartered waters, adapting everything from business models to strategies, processes, and staffing levels.
But, despite these more stressful times, there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to renew and move forwards. So how can business leaders react to ongoing challenges, reassess what they do and adapt their business for 2021 and beyond?
One major advantage to many businesses in the current climate is technology. Increasing digitalisation has allowed businesses to continue to deliver services effectively, minimising disruption to day-to-day operations. Companies that have already advanced their online capabilities are likely, at least in the short term, to feel less of an impact than others. Shifting operations to the likes of Zoom and Slack ensures that projects can still go ahead, allowing teams to continue their duties even if they are working from home. It can take some adjusting to, but it’s a crucial step in becoming an agile organisation.
One of the most important skills in the arsenal of any business, especially in current times, is the ability to react quickly and appropriately. The pandemic has forced many organisations to crisis point and it’s important not to lose sight of doing the right thing. Businesses must remain true to their vision, be empathetic to stakeholders, make quick decisions and maintain transparency. Being realistic about what your business can and cannot do, and how operations can be safeguarded against future disruption.
It’s not just about implementing contingency plans and crisis measures – there’s real opportunity to get creative and think outside the box. Many businesses are using the present day situation as a chance to explore new business models, offer additional services and rebrand. A recent study demonstrated that innovations developed during a crisis can often yield a more positive impact in the long run, as opposed to organisations that cut back innovation budgets. It can be a risky approach for some, especially for businesses that are already feeling a severe impact due to COVID-19, but taking realistic, calculated measures to open new avenues provides real opportunity for success and longevity.
Of course, there are some businesses that will naturally fare better than others given the current circumstances. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation reported permanent vacancies fell at their sharpest rate on record last April, but a number of sectors bucked the trend. Glassdoor reported a hiring surge in a number of sectors, bringing opportunity for jobseekers across the UK.
“While job openings have dramatically fallen since the start of the outbreak, companies are still hiring,” says Glassdoor careers expert Jo Cresswell. “Supermarkets are clearly bucking the trend by significantly ramping up recruitment, with roles from shop floor assistants through to warehouse workers and delivery drivers.”
Other sectors hiring during the pandemic include technology, banking and healthcare. These sectors inevitably have a natural advantage as things stand, but it doesn’t mean to say that organisations outside of these demographics are restricted. Think about how your business can place more emphasis on current profitable areas, and how this can link to your core strategy.
While it can be difficult to feel positive about business in current times, there are multiple avenues for opportunity if organisations are ready to become agile and technology savvy. It may not be a simple journey by any means, but taking time to assess and develop your business model really does make the difference in safeguarding your organisation for the future.
The Unsung Hero Awards are no different. Our model has had to shift away from Hospital promotional visits and traveling around the UK, even in-person awards. This has as least allowed for new ideas to emerge for 2021. While we will be revealing more over the coming months, for now we remain confident that as a small charitable organisation with a large outreach, we can and will adapt and evolve to continue to find ways to ‘give back’ to the Healthcare Heroes of today and tomorrow.