On most news outlets at the moment, you can see the same headlines about “reopening” businesses, shopping malls and public places. And we’re seeing the very spirited debate about the right time to begin this transition. This debate will very likely go on for a while.
Regardless of your feelings about when to reopen again, it’s highly likely that everyone eventually wants to see things open up and a return to some degree of normality. As business professionals, there is still a lot of work to do before resuming operations.
Here are 7 questions that can point out if your business is ready to resume its activities:
- Have organizational goals and priorities changed? In many cases, the answer is “yes”. Maybe a product launch will be delayed. Or a major technology implementation will be pushed off until next year. Organizations will want to figure out their revised goals and priorities for the next few months because they need to tell employees what to expect and where they will be focusing their work.
- Is your business ready to re-open? Consider how severely your region has been impacted by the pandemic. It could be that, as much as the company wants to open in the next thirty days, it makes more sense to do it in ninety because the company’s supply chain isn’t 100% operational. Or maybe the company would be better off with a phased approach over a longer time frame.
- What’s your long term plan? What are your objectives for the next 3 / 6 / 9 months? What about next year? The answers to #1 and #2 are going to drive how many employees are needed and in what roles. If the organization doesn’t have those positions filled, what’s the plan? Organizations will also need to decide if there are any skills that they will build internally or the need for a contingent workforce to complement their staffing needs.
- What do we need to keep employees safe? We’re not just talking about personal protective equipment (PPE) here – your business environment also needs to ready. And what will your organization do if an employee shows symptoms or tests positive in the workplace? Hopefully, no one will have to deal with this situation, but the time to discuss it is before it happens. This is a good conversation to have with your legal team.
- Where are employees going to work? The answer to question #4 might drive this. Organizations are not going to be able to simply send an email that says something like, “Starting Monday, everyone needs to come into the office. Normal business hours.” During quarantine, employees may have assumed caregiving needs. Many countries have decided not to reopen schools or plan to continue distance learning. Organizations should be ready to provide some degree of flexibility.
- Do you have the right technology? This ties into #5. One of the eye-openers during this outbreak is how ill-prepared businesses were, in terms of having the technology tools and security in place for employees to work remotely. Organizations that find themselves with a larger remote workforce might need to look at their technology needs.
- What happens if there’s a relapse? Not just what will the company do if someone tests positive in the workplace but what if your city / country / state reissues a lockdown. Sad to say but this is within the realm of possibilities. While organizations had to react quickly initially, there’s no reason there shouldn’t be a plan in place now. And that plan should be communicated to employees.
When we first started learning about COVID-19, organizations had to make some fast decisions. That’s okay. And there are organizations that are still trying to figure it all out on some level. That may be okay too. But it could be detrimental to employees and businesses to re-open too soon and without a plan.
HOW CAN AFRICA HR SOLUTIONS HELP YOU RESUME BUSINESS OPERATIONS IN AFRICA
Africa HR Solutions offers a full range of reliable services to facilitate your workforce management on the African continent:
- Hire people on the African continent without a registered entity
- Complete payroll rundown and management
- Central point of contact for all your queries
- Guaranteed compliance to local laws
- Professional indemnity and employer liability
As always, Africa HR Solutions guarantees 100% compliance for your business operations in Africa.