Navigating COVID-19 Business Challenges: A CEO’s Guide
COVID-19 recovery seems like it could be in the near future, but if we’ve learned anything this year, it is to expect the unexpected. The future of business remains uncertain, and CEOs must realize that there is a new ‘normal’–one full of unpredictability and new challenges for business leaders.
As a CEO, or really any leadership role, you must create a supportive environment that will sustain business through these new conditions. We believe that this starts with reimagining what business will look like in 2021 and beyond.
As we enter the new year, here are some steps you can take to ensure your business is on the right track to success and sustainability:
Define Your New Business Strategy
With the new business reality comes a need for a new business strategy. Your new business strategy should:
- Shift from a focus on the short-term to a focus split between the short- and long-term.
- Reflect the reality of dynamic markets.
- Provide clear guidance to business unit leaders.
With your new strategy in mind, be sure to define new, specific business goals that align with and inform your new business strategy.
As you create your new strategy, it is helpful to know where business and technology is headed. That’s why Aragon published a report with key predictions for 2021 and beyond. The report was influenced by the very changes CEOs are facing today–changes in the workplace brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the expectation that these influences will continue at least through this decade.
Define New Target Outcomes
If you update your strategy and planning, you must also update your measurement tactics (a.k.a. your metrics). Sticking to old standards is ineffective–too much has changed. You must define clear and effective metrics that fit within your new strategy, and are created to communicate a business value and impact outcome.
New restrictions, policies, and setbacks may mean that you need to adjust your target outcomes–and that’s okay. Holding your employees accountable for meeting goals set under entirely different circumstances can have a negative impact on employee morale.
Invest In Your People
During times of uncertainty, and maybe what seems like chaos, don’t forget to invest in your employees–this needs to be a priority. Be sure to provide them with:
- Wellness Support: Work to create a safe and healthy work environment, and also foster employee engagement even through the hard times. Helping your employees thrive during a pandemic means:
- Providing health screenings for in-office employees
- Distribute health education resources and materials to employees
- Keep employees up-to-date with guidelines
- Host virtual events, rather than in-person, to connect workers from different locations
- Implement a work buddy approach to reduce feelings of isolation
- A Digital Work Hub (DWH): A digital work hub is key to helping employees stay organized, follow- through on tasks, and collaborate with others.
Major providers of digital work hubs include: Dropbox, Google, Igloo, Microsoft, Workfront, Wrike, Smartsheet, and others.
To learn more about DWH and evaluate providers, get our recent report: The Aragon Research Globe for Digital Work Hubs, 2021
- Continuous Learning: Training and skill-building are continuous parts of the employee journey. And, with a remote workforce, these things are even more critical to keeping your employees engaged. Invest in a modern learning platform to allow employees to engage in self-directed learning.
Invest In the Right Technologies
Part of planning for your new strategy involves rethinking how to make processes more efficient for your employees and your customers. Especially during times of uncertainty, your actions and impact will be forever remembered by your customers and your people. Make sure the technologies you use align with your strategy and goals.
- Workflow and content automation: Digitize & automate your document processes for contracts, daily health check-in forms, and more.
- Conversational AI: Augment your existing help desk, customer service agents, or learning platform with conversational AI. Help employees and customers find what they need faster, without human assistance.
Interested in hearing about which technologies will be important in 2021 from our very own Aragon analysts? Watch Briefing On Demand >
Reimagining business and shifting your strategy isn’t optional–businesses won’t return to what we see as “normal”. As a CEO, your customers and employees will turn to you to guide them through these uncertain times. Following the steps laid out in this blog are important as you plan for 2021 and beyond. And, remember that Aragon is here to help guide you through your most pertinent business challenges and decisions! Schedule Free Inquiry >