The first step towards a lasting recovery is forward-looking human resource management. An innovative approach will enable you to anticipate changes, adapt your corporate culture and come up with solutions to new challenges, such as restarting your operations and bringing your employees back to the office after reopening. Here are some concrete solutions for restructuring your business and developing strategies and business practices that will help you meet the psychological, legal and organizational challenges.
Determining your recovery measures: reorganizing your resources more effectively
To ensure a successful recovery, you will need to restructure the working environment, as suggested by William Korbatly, a lawyer specializing in business and NPO law and a mediator and arbitrator in civil and commercial cases: “Given the possibility of a second wave, employers would be well advised to take measures to prepare themselves. Employees have the right to work in a safe environment and can refuse to return to work if they have reasonable fears for their safety.” In this regard, the CNESST’s return-to-work tools provide information on reopening businesses, the protocol for isolating positive Covid-19 cases, health standards and barriers to be implemented, and social distancing. These measures to protect the health of your staff will help them feel more confident, with a favourable impact on both their morale and their productivity.
You should also make a point of keeping well informed to facilitate your reopening: a variety of solutions are available to you in such areas of expertise as human resources, health, legal advice and the resumption of activities. Living with the virus will involve identifying new issues such as training for a multi-generational workforce (related to the trend for work to become increasingly virtual, through videoconferences, for example), staff recruitment and retention, and telecommuting. On this subject, Me Korbatly stresses that you must “provide measures to help support work-life balance, with a focus on occasional telework. These kinds of measures can reassure employees who are parents of young children and are unable to find daycare services. This could also strengthen employees’ sense of belonging to the company, representing a win-win situation for both employer and employees.” Channels for discussion between you and your workers can facilitate this opportunity to remodel your corporate culture. This is because transparent communication can help you both anticipate and meet the needs of your staff.
Business strategies and practices: concrete solutions and innovations
In restarting your operations, protecting the health of your employees also requires attention to various psychological aspects: stress management, bereavement support, and prevention of feelings of isolation for those working at home. Ways of preventing isolation can include virtual meetings among workmates, accessible psychological help, and online seminars on mental health and workload management. Me Korbatly also recommends “asking the CNESST to visit and inspect the workplace – both to validate compliance with newly adopted measures and to reassure employees about the safety of their workplace and their return to the office.” These adjustments to organizational policies should be taken as an opportunity to modernize your business paradigm.
A number of programs to support the restarting of activities are available from various levels of government and the private sector. Here are some useful directories that can help you choose the measures to adopt as a priority for the resumption of operations:
And don’t forget that you can also benefit from resources that were available to entrepreneurs before the pandemic started:
Lastly, recruiting new employees and retaining existing staff warrant your attention in the context of greater workforce mobility, with many calling their career choices and goals into question. To find out more:
Armed with these solutions, you can tackle restarting your activities more effectively and face new challenges to ensure your business’ long-term survival.
Acclr, through its business information service, receives financial support from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. Acclr Information d’affaires is the new body formerly named Info entrepreneurs.
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