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I don’t know about your specific company, but usually the first step is layoffs. Most often, labor costs aren’t the biggest expense, but it always seems simplest, fastest, and easiest to fire employees - and if and when sales are back up, recruit new ones. Furthermore, we know there is always latent redundancy, so we assume any reduction in the workforce will lead to greater efficiency.
In the past, when I managed Osem-Nestle’s factory in Yokne’am, we often had improvement teams working with internal leaders. For four years, we had a yearly workshop teaching employees how to lead improvements teams. The woman leading these workshops then led and managed the improvement teams, and coached the leaders. After four years, we transitioned to doing that internally as well.
It might seem odd, but some businesses and people benefited from the global effects of the pandemic. For example, let's say you're a manufacturer of a niche product like facemasks, and suddenly it becomes the most sought after product worldwide, sold for exorbitant prices. It can seem as if luck fell out of the sky, into your lap. What will you do?
At 6:15 I started riding my bicycle towards Ramat Ha'Nadiv and we started making our way up to Mansur el-Aqeb. We were supposed to meet Uri there. When we reached the top, there was no sign of Uri. We waited. Uri didn’t arrive, nor call. We tried calling him, and there was no answer. After about fifteen minutes, we started riding again, heading north. A short while later, Uri came riding towards us, smiling.
Javier is a young tour guide, Until recently, he had a lot of work. He speaks Spanish fluently, and as a result he had, among is other clients, many Birthright groups from South America. And then came the Coronavirus, and Javier found himself without work, and with the realisation that life is unlikely to return to how it was anytime soon.
Covid-19 changed many things in one fell swoop. One of those is the prohibition on face-to-face meetings. With the meetings we were used to no longer possible, we started using Zoom or similar softwares. School and university lectures, management meetings, consultations, workshops, coaching sessions.
Ei'lam and I analyzed the company's operations, and for all other fields managed to create a profit generating work-plan with reasonable effort. Contrastingly, it seemed impossible to create such a work-plan for the import and distribution side of the business.
A medical start-up I worked with in the past faced a considerable schedule delay. I suggested the CEO display the company's goals and schedules in a prominent location, breakdown company goals to personal ones assigned to each managers, and thus delegate responsibility to them.
In my last article I discussed strategies for businesses during the Coronavirus crisis: the gazelle and the hedgehog strategies. When the gazelle senses danger it raises its head, looks around, and runs forward. At times it will change direction, but will always continue moving and keep its head up.
My last article dealt with the question – how to approach the crisis in your business. Among other issues, I discussed employee retention vs. employment costs. In this article I'm going to take a big step forward, and present the opportunity this crisis offers you, to engage employees with company goals.