The Importance of Planning

The first couple of months of the year usually sees management teams putting their heads together to plan for business growth and strategy; 12 months ago we had no idea that a pandemic was going to derail our business plans or impact our teams so significantly – and many companies are unsure how to structure their plans amidst the ongoing challenges, with so much uncertainty to navigate.

How we work has forever changed – so our most important advice is to keep moving forward, to keep making plans for growth and development, to keep supporting your team and encouraging performance. Your business can’t survive a freeze in activity – so how can you plan for a year that’s so unusual? 

SWOT Analysis - a great place to start is to look at where you are now; to review the strengths of your team and identify any areas you could improve and get an idea of the competition

Conservative planning is still progress – yes, in a time of uncertainty, it makes sense to back off a bit on plans for growth and be cautious with investments. However, you do still need to progress, to continue trading and supporting clients, and to provide a service, as well as supporting your own team towards their personal goals.

Put your people first – check in with everyone. Make sure that they feel safe, supported, secure – and have what they need to perform.

Working from home is challenging – as employers, you should be supporting wellbeing as well as business goals and targets. Support the team’s mental health and physical wellbeing. Remind your team to get away from their workspace, move and be active, take care of their bodies, get outdoors for regular fresh air. Encourage them to communicate about any anxieties they have and put support plans into place for those who are feeling overwhelmed. Adjust working schedules if necessary. Plan regular ‘downtime chats’ where peers can chat to each other, not just about projects for work, but chit chat, the way they’d be able to in the office together!

The reality we need to accept is that 2020 was hard, and 2021 has begun the same way – but this will pass, and we will move through it together. Find ways to reduce stress and make your team a community where everyone knows they matter and feels supported.

Adapt how you work – we can’t all be together in the office – but we still have to work, and we still have to set and aim towards targets that protect the business. Ensure that your team have access to the technology and software they need to perform, help them to create effective home-working environments. For those still supporting customers in person, provide PPE and training on social distancing, personal safety and healthy working. Protect your team above all else, and support them with health and safety a priority, and be sure that they aren’t taking any risks in the field.

Recruit for growth and what you need now – a lot of people have lost jobs because of the pandemic – so it’s a busy market. Hiring talent to boost your team and support your plans for 2021 means focusing on the skills and traits missing in your team and finding someone who fits well as part of the culture and community you have in place. It’s a time to put care and focus into finding the right talent pool, and to work with experts who have your best interests at heart. For support in finding the right candidate in 2021, contact our talent solution experts today on 01509 615290!

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