The broad distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines brings with it renewed focus on economic recovery from the pandemic. Companies should capitalize on three key opportunities during this critical period: unifying the organization around the urgency of post-pandemic recovery, sustaining beneficial crisis driven actions for long- term value, and effectively re-engaging their workforce to innovate.
The current climate presents a unique opportunity to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis with a unified sense of urgency around implementing change. This strong rationale for change significantly enhances the breadth and impact of potential improvements.
Transformative change requires marshalling the focus and talent of the company with a sense of urgent need. While leaders can call for change at any time, an authentic driving requirement to change is far more powerful and leads to profound results. Building upon a strong foundational rationale, along with the continued need to respond to profit pressure created by pandemic impacts, creates the groundwork to engage the company in transformative and sustainable improvement.
Many crisis actions adopted temporarily can be sustained for long-term value with careful orchestration.
Companies adopted new practices and technologies to operate effectively during the Covid-19 crisis. Many practices such as work-from- home, reduced travel, and digital delivery could provide more efficient operations on an ongoing basis, but they will not do so automatically. To ensure sustained adoption and savings that hit the bottom line, companies must continue to innovate and do three crucial things: generate buy-in, establish tangible value for each opportunity, and provide accountability for each action.
Having endured the pandemic, and in many cases suffered personal loss, the workforce is open to operating in ways that may not have felt possible before 2020. Companies must harness this latent potential for innovation and creative solutions by removing the obstacles that traditionally impede breaching the status quo.
To navigate profit headwinds companies will need to accelerate innovation. Employees are both the best source of and ultimate implementers of innovative improvement actions. However, there are many forces impeding employees from making smart changes; obstacles include lack of empowerment (it is easier to say no), lack of skills and perspective, and lack of support and urgency. Companies that orchestrate an employee centric, rapid and comprehensive improvement program will create cultural cohesion that may have eroded during the Covid-19 crisis, continue its leadership development momentum and unleash the value of employee expertise to create enhancements in operations and profitability.
About EHS Partners
EHS Partners is an independently owned advisory firm with a single focus: leading companies through structured operational performance improvement programs that generate significant sustainable financial impact (average 34% EBIT improvement) and enhance operating effectiveness. For additional information please contact us at 212-691-4800 or visit us at www.ehspartners.com