This week I have been listening and discussing some of the longer-term economic impacts of coronavirus. We have already started to see the impact on growth and it will likely decline further. A projection of contraction this year with a slow recovery in early 2021.
We also have seen spikes in the number of already staff absent and all this with increasing customer call volumes and massively changing types of demand. These are challenging times indeed.
And as much as we would like to think that we can now start to plan around this new normal, my fear is the UK is still really on at the start of this pandemic (just run the maths).
It means it will get worse before it gets better and am afraid we need to think about being even more prepared. We need to plan further for resilience, preparing our processes and teams further.
If this is the case, there will be more challenges ahead. More difficult situations, impacts on employees, customers, further loss of capacity, service levels and supply chains, most likely for the next 2-4-6 weeks, at a minimum, maybe longer depending on how this plays out.
Important questions are:
- How do you cover difficult news with employees? Reassuring and supporting people, trying to keep them safe?
- How will you cover roles if there is a reduction of staff and further illness?
- Do you have adequate hand over procedures for people who are off ill?
- Are key roles and dependencies identified and covered? – keeping things going without key people (many looking at remote working)
- Are there scenario plans for different options? Mitigate unacceptable risk
- Medium-Long term – can you manage or design your process for no staff interaction?
By my calculation we have an ever closing window, now a couple of weeks, maybe less, to cover some of this.
We may need to share resourcing, ideas and stick together to get through it.
Anyone who wants to contact me, talk about this, share concerns or ideas I am happy to chat with them and support. Even if you just need a friendly voice or sounding board.
Happy to share information, put people in contact with each other and hear about your experience too.