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Productivity is key, post Covid-19

The COVID-19 crisis has forced many businesses to reassess almost every aspect of how they work. In whatever ‘new normal’ emerges for your employees — whether it includes continuing to work from home, interacting digitally or harnessing technologies to innovate and collaborate — it’s important to ensure that your people have the willingness and tools to embrace change and make their contribution.

Initial Leadership time may have required a focus on cash management, to re-align discretionary expenditure and pause or stop major programmes, however as lockdown eases, the focus increasingly needs to be on employee engagement and how to re-ignite your continuous improvement system for productivity improvement.

Many businesses we work with are in the process of refreshing their business model with a view to transferring thoughts of the “new normal” into reality. New business models that enable market share growth, create new revenue streams, or significantly simplify the business continue to be at the top of the agenda. This will include new ways of working - capitalising on the learning that every business has gained through the crisis – including remote working, increased reliance and use of on digitisation and potentially new products or services and channels to market.

Much to consider, at a time when resources may be already overloaded – key to success is prioritisation of initiatives and refreshing the continuous improvement system to deliver required results through aligned and empowered employees, at pace.

Connect to the self-assessment tool below to complete a quick stress test of your improvement process and identify gaps and focus for improvement.

Productivity is an enduring challenge to resolve, not just a temporary issue caused by Covid-19. As always, the embedding of successful habits/standard working through-out the organisation - at every level and in every function – is the key to success.

This must be led through the prioritisation of initiatives and alignment of people through:

  1. Focus on monitoring operations and use this information to assess process performance and the contribution of each individual role

  2. Ensuring Key performance indicators (KPIs) are (still) relevant

  3. Target setting stretch goals, tracked through a tiered review process and visibly communicated

  4. Employment practices – ensuring the firm is promoting and rewarding employees based on results

Driving this transformation to deliver productivity improvement requires strong leadership and making tough decisions based on data, with the objective of coaching the business to embed underlying systemic success and utilising the collective intelligence of your whole team based on a shared understanding of the drivers of performance and the levers that must be pulled to achieve sustainable results.

Out of every crisis opportunities are discovered for competitive reinvention and differentiation, this period is no different.

A strategic rethink provides a catalyst for accelerating operational transformation, developing new business models, ways of working and connecting more closely with customers. But some things do not change – these times will also require significant leadership commitment and a push from the top.

Article by Mel Mula, Consultant at ConsultAvila.

At ConsultAvila we are a team of experienced professionals who work closely with our clients to solve complex business problems. We have a track record of delivering SUSTAINABLECHANGE at pace.

Our principal offerings to PLC’s, SME and PE customers include: Business and Operations strategy - from Due diligence for M&A, organisation design to delivery; Business turnaround and programme recovery; End to end supply chain restructuring and cost reduction; and Integrated business planning and inventory optimisation.

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