Monday, September 14, 2020

Reflecting on the Past Six Months: What's Permanent vs. Temporary?

Source: Wikimedia

In a recent Fortune article by Michal Lev-Ram, several chief human resource officers comment on lessons from the pandemic.   Here's an excerpt with a perspective shared by Grace Zuncic, CHRO at Chobani:

There are some silver linings to the current challenges facing HR officers: Being pushed to rethink the workplace, even when it happens for all the wrong reasons, can lead to fruitful results. “We were always wondering when that moment of disruption would arrive,” said Grace Zuncic, chief people officer at Chobani, and another participant at the recent event. “You never wish for it to come in the form of a pandemic, and yet, we have this opportunity to redefine how things will be done.”

Beyond just human resources, all areas of a business should be looking carefully at the changes and innovations introduced over the past six months.   Leaders need to be asking the question:  Which of these changes should stick (be permanent), and which is a temporary stopgap measure to get through the pandemic?   Some innovations clearly are delivering great value to customers, employees, and/or suppliers.  These new products, processes, and systems should stay.   Curbside pick-up at many retailers, for instance, should NEVER go away.  Customers are finding it incredibly useful and valuable.  Sorting through the changes that should stick will be crucial for many organizations.  Forced to innovate, many firms have come up with some ingenious solutions.  These should not be simply discarded if/when we return to normalcy.   We shouldn't wait for a vaccine to begin to ask questions about the permanence of new practices; that conversation should be ongoing, starting as soon as possible.  

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