We talk about change being really difficult, employees just won’t bend, they won’t adapt, they don’t like change, yet all of a sudden, the global pandemic forced them to, their livelihoods depended on them being able to adapt to new ways of working.
The generation of employees in the manufacturing industry, who like things the way they’ve always been, suddenly find themselves thrust into a digital world, their beloved paper-based systems are being brought online, they’re being asked to take part in video conferences and it’s pushing the limits of their IT skills, not to mention highlighting the number of double chins they have! It’s all very stressful.
But guess what, they figured it out, their IT skills improved, they learnt things they never knew they could and they got used to looking at themselves on a screen every day. In fact, they probably pat themselves on the back now.
What this proves is that these people are capable of adapting to change, when they have to! They had us all fooled!
Looking back over the year that was 2020, it presented a fantastic opportunity for employers. For the following reasons;
1. It was a fresh start
When, in our lifetime, have we had this break in normal operation? An opportunity to really get your stall in order. All those jobs you’ve been putting to the bottom of the pile because your customers have been so demanding, suddenly can get done.
2. It brought leaders down to the shop floor
Leaders had to muck in and get involved in jobs they might never have done before. As they furloughed their staff, they had to be delivery drivers or operate machinery. This glimpse into the day-to-day lives of their operators enabled them to see the challenges they faced and make improvements to the way things ran. Leaving them a leaner and more efficient business as a result.
3. It brought people together
The camaraderie that came from being ‘one team’ and all pulling together, really gave us all the ‘feels’ in the world.
4. It was an opportunity to test their values
Did the business survive because of them? Did you live them or did behaviours go out the window in a total state of panic?
As businesses recover from the global pandemic, it’s important to take some time to think about the year behind us, think about the years ahead. Think about your culture and your people, because whilst they may be grateful for a job right now, that will fade and you need to make sure your culture is strong when it does.