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COVID-19 Resources, Thought Leadership

On October 15, Gerber hosted a panel of professionals to talk about the crazy, unpredictable world entrepreneurs are navigating in, and how they can adapt their businesses for the future. 

“A New Kind of Environment: The Evolution of People and Place During COVID” offered its attendees a fresh, realistic perspective and advice on how to move forward.

Led by Randy Gerber, the panel also included Kit Foreman of Strategic Performance Solutions, J.R. Kern of Capitol Equities, Vince Stasiulewicz of Hylant, and Alicia Zambelli of Isaac Wiles.

If you missed the webinar and would like to watch it, please visit our YouTube channel. If you’d like the CliffsNotes, read on!

Here are the five main takeaways from the “A New Kind of Environment” webinar that you need to know:

Take away #1: Treat employee wellness as part of your strategic business plan

It’s important to be proactive when managing your teams. Talk about issues when they come up, and about culture and core values regularly. If there is disconnect between what you say your culture and core values are and what they actually are, your team won’t engage. 

The mental health of your team is as important as their physical health. Make sure they take time off to prevent pandemic fatigue. Be sensitive to parents whose children are attending school remotely. Have an employee assistance program and encourage your team to use it if they need it.

Take away #2: It’s time to take charge

Business owners were blind sighted in 2020. Change was forced on us, and the challenges we are facing won’t disappear in 2021. We will be able to influence some of the change that’s coming and be proactive instead of reactive. Not doing so is a missed opportunity. Conduct an assessment on your time, people, and financial resources to predict change. What changes do you anticipate?

Now is also the time to identify and take charge of your culture and core values if you haven’t already, and make them part of the interview process.

Take away #3:  Ongoing management of remote workers 

Some businesses have been able to return their employees to the workplace safely, others are working remotely, and still others are on a hybrid model. That is unlikely to stabilize over the next 12 months, but most people are ready to be around other people and transition back into the office. It’s challenging to onboard new members remotely, especially in the professional services industry. 

Those that are efficiently working from home will probably stay that way, as long as they have gone through the checks and balances to confirm they really are efficient. 

Those that aren’t productive working remote must be given clear expectations, accountability measures, ongoing coaching and feedback. Productivity is sometimes harder to measure in outcomes-oriented employees than task-oriented employees. Employers will need to adopt an outcome oriented evaluation and performance improvement plan.

Take away #4: Revisit your insurance and liability policies

Prepare your insurance policies from a risk management perspective. Cyber breaches, discrimination and unlawful termination are three areas impacted during the pandemic. Make sure you are covered.

In a time that is always changing, it’s a good idea to document all your policies and procedures. Have travel, remote work and work environment corporate governance processes documented. Standardize your employment practice liability policies to include COVID implications. Most carriers have a template on their website you can modify and use.

Take away #5: Embrace technology

Insurance and legal costs are going up, and business owners will embrace technology because they are forced to. Many business owners are replacing people with technology instead of with more people. 

How has your business evolved in this new environment? Share with us on Facebook and Instagram!