As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and things begin to open back up again, there are sure to be permanent changes to the way we do business. For example, handshakes may no longer be customary, at least for a while anyway. A lot more employees will work from home regularly or exclusively if the business model permits it, and for organizations that must maintain on-site locations, health and safety protocols and workplace cleanliness will be top priorities.
Given the emerging long-term nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large percentage of businesses may require an entirely new or modified business model – one that effectively adapts to the changes and makes the best use of their current existing resources: people, technology, and capital.
Here are some ways that an organization’s resources might need to be redeployed in order to adapt to the changes brought about by the coronavirus outbreak:
- People: As we touched on earlier, many organizations will need to rethink the way employees are utilized. A growing number of them will work from home, and because there may be a limited number that work on location, cross-training and multitasking will become all the more important. Another area where things are sure to change is with business meetings. Organizations will hold more meetings virtually as they have been doing during the pandemic, and business travel will most likely be diminished as a result.
- Technology: The best organizational strategies will utilize technology in a way that augments an employee’s job rather than replaces them. Telecommuting and virtual conferences on platforms like Zoom will become the norm, and some businesses will need to use technology to shift over to online sales, online payments for take-out/delivery options, virtual consultations, and other ways they can interact with customers/clients in a socially distanced way.
- Capital: Organizations that have already built a strong technology infrastructure will be ahead of the game, while others will need to deploy capital to get caught up in this area. More resources will also need to be directed toward areas like commercial cleaning, workplace safety, compliance, and minimizing liability exposure.
COVID-19 has hit some industries much harder than others, and these industries will need to implement bolder changes to adapt to a post-coronavirus world. For example, travel and tourism has been decimated by the pandemic, with airports and hotels resembling ghost towns.
To bring people back, airlines, hotels, resorts, and others in the travel and accommodation industry will have to implement numerous protocols to comply with new requirements and show the public that it is safe to use them. Bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in particular will need to thread the needle between maintaining social distancing and continuing to provide an outstanding customer experience.
Using Mediation to Modify Policies and Procedures and Resolve Disputes
Solving the dilemmas presented by doing business post-COVID-19 will not be an easy task for most organizations. We are in uncharted waters, and there is a lot of uncertainty ahead. There are also sure to be disputes along the way among stakeholders about which direction to go and how best to deploy their resources.
One of the best ways to resolve these issues is through mediation. Mediation has been used very effectively for many years to set up operating agreements, deal with conflicts between partners, employees, or both, and to revise business plans and operating agreements when it makes sense to do so.
Mediation sessions are facilitated by a professional mediator from outside the organization who has no vested interest in the outcome of the proceeding. By receiving an outside perspective, stakeholders often have access to solutions that they may not have been aware of and/or may not have considered because they are too close to the situation.
Now more than ever, businesses that are adjusting their models for COVID-19 need to look for creative solutions that help minimize risk, solve ongoing disputes, and give the organization the flexibility it needs to adapt during this time. Mediation can help accomplish all of these and more, making it one of the best investments an organization can make to help them successfully adapt to a post-pandemic world.
AMS is Here for You
As we all look to adjust to the changes that have been caused by COVID-19, AMS is open and ready to serve your needs. We offer virtual mediation sessions that can be conducted from anywhere you have a telephone or high-speed internet connection, and we have extended our hours during this time to help accommodate schedule disruptions brought about by the coronavirus.
We offer free initial consultations, and we are here for you whenever you are ready to get started. Message us online or contact us by phone to schedule your free consultation.