As the Covid-19 pandemic evolves, we are quite literally in the proverbial ‘eye of the storm.’ The onslaught of fear and despair continues as state governments across the country are being rightly cautious and extend the lockdown phase. From a health perspective, it is an absolute must, however this extension is bound to impact the economy, which in turn will push many businesses into the red.
Consumer lockdown means demand lockdown, thus, leading to stalling of economic activities across businesses – barring the Healthcare sector which includes the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industry, Telecom sector, Insurance and a few others.
As we enter the second phase of lockdown, the growing anxiety due to the economic stall are first; the pay cuts followed by jobs losses. Most of us have already heard of announcements made by various organisations with regard to furloughs, pay cuts and retrenchment.
In this scenario, it becomes imperative to set in motion the key learnings of the first phase of remote working to present your defining individual USPs, which the organisation can benefit from in the near term as well as long-term.
As a professional, here are some measures to bring added value to your role:
- Ramping up one’s strategic involvement in the organisation – Thinking strategically at these times is a big plus as it showcases your maturity to your team and the management. Point to remember is to share solutions or ideas to ensure survival of the business. It is going beyond your organisation’s already established mission, vision value and thinking about the entire business from a strategic standpoint. The ideas presented should have clear action plans which include business growth and revenue generation. These inputs can be for one’s clients as well as your individual organisation.
- Operational involvement with processes that are industry best practices: As all organisations have issued Covid-19 guidelines to maintain workflow and operations, as an individual and also as a team player, it is advisable to think of adopting industry best practices, protocols and processes which are being used by global companies and peer organisations. Suggestions which can be imbibed and implemented within your organisation as well as for your clients would be well appreciated. A lot of platforms such as this has constant updates on the pandemic as well as factoids on a host of topics pertinent to business and economy.
- Rapid upskilling via online courses – Upskilling will help give you the edge within your organisation, with regard to fulfilling both strategic as well as operational aspects. There are various platforms one can use to acquire skillsets relevant to your profile. For PR professionals for instance, courses around Google Analytics, Cohort Analysis, Digital Marketing, SEO, Trend Analytics, Big Data for PR, Data Journalism, Content writing and creation – Graphic creation, Short-video creation and more.
- Stay updated about Covid-19 proof industry verticals – Here besides the daily news letters from PR platforms such as One-Source, one should deep dive into key sectors – which show signs of minimum impact. The purpose here would be to target these sectors for new business or at an individual level, keep abreast of their recruitment updates. The idea here is to keep a daily track of Covid-19 proof industries or resilient sectors which are not relatively unaffected. Sectors such as – Healthcare which includes – Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Diagnostics, hospitals, R&D laboratories, Telecom sector which includes telecommunications, data driven products, teleconferencing products, Technology and AI led – healthcare facilitators and solution providers, Farm Logistics and more.
- Network, Network, Network Reinstate connection with alumni network, peer groups, clients, friends aggressively. This is crucial as an allied point to the one above. It is imperative in this phase to make inroads into uncharted industries and also develop relationship which can be mutually beneficial.
As per a Mckinsey & Company article titled – Beyond Coronavirus – The Path to the new normal by Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal, published in March, 2020 – It shared insights to business leaders on how to look at their business and their organisation post the Covid-19 crisis and how they can bring back normalcy to their affected operations. They further elaborated on how companies need to think across Five horizons – 1. Resolve 2. Resilience 3. Return 4. Reimagination 5. Reform. The detailed articled can be viewed here.
So, while business owners and organisations take stock of their operations going forward, its important to know this is a global crisis and its unprecedented. There will be no stigma attached to a remuneration cut or even a job loss. We are in it together and it gives us an opportunity to refine and redefine our skills sets beyond Covid – 19.
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