Managing Change in Times of Crisis
Businesses today are undergoing rapid and massive upheaval as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world. Many management teams are scrambling to adapt to two seismic shifts in their workforces. One, the move of employees to remote working situations and the changes in work practices and infrastructure that brings. Two forced layoffs that businesses are suddenly facing, like Macy’s, or in exceptional cases such as Amazon, rapid hiring.
Not being physically present can be an adjustment for both managers and colleagues who are not accustomed to working remotely. Communication over phone and email can be limiting. Particularly in the creative realms where group interaction is important. It’s hard to replace face-to-face presence in these situations but technology such as video teleconferencing and connectivity apps such as Zoom and Slack have served in part to bridge these gaps. Despite people being more connected digitally, surveys such as the State of Remote Work 2019 uncovered some negative mental health issues relating to isolation, the foremost being loneliness. Employees can also feel pressure to be constantly available and this can increase work related stress.
Managers need to be conscious of these new challenges their employees are facing. Having a clear vision of all employees and their responsibilities within the management structure provides certainty in a time of change. Pulling location and time zone data into an org chart can help with organising teleconferencing. Performance metrics can be studied to track the effectiveness or otherwise of remote workers and where greater resources or training might be needed. Many companies have met the challenge of isolation by establishing benefits focussed on wellness. Org charts can clearly display the participation in these benefits and measure their effectiveness.
The composition of organisations has not only been transformed today but will continue to have to respond to the changes of an uncertain future. Being able to visualise workforces as they change dynamically is the advantage of using an automated org chart software. With OrgChart, existing HR data is easily imported, including key metrics such as laid-off, furloughed, new, contract and open positions, to visualise the data. Org charts can be used to model and scenario plan for the future, whatever challenges it may bring. With a variety of presentation formats available, new plans for the organization can be communicated calmly and clearly to rattled management teams.
Whatever change your organisation is currently dealing with it’s important for management to reassure employees with clear communication. An org chart that represents each individual’s place in the new organisation—whether it’s a change in location, structure, group or remote working status—can help ease anxiety and renew the focus on recovery.
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