How has Covid-19 impacted your business?
Following many discussions with CEO's and Chair's of businesses, it is very clear that Covid-19 has impacted many organisations. Some firms have had to change their entire business approach and model so that they can continue to operate, others are seeing this as a point of opportunity.
How has Covid impacted your sector?
Covid has had quite an impact on a number of sectors, for example from a lending perspective there is an expectation that bad debt will continue to increase and volume will remain low across all segments for some time. All but critical business travel has stopped across many companies and many employees will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. The first priority is to ensure the health and safety of employees.
Our clients have highlighted the following areas which they will most likely need to address: -
1) Cost Management – with more caution around spending, businesses will be taking immediate actions to preserve cash, therefore firms will need to offer better pricing and more affordability within the range of products they offer.
2) Proposition Development – as customers’ lives have changed and what they value as important has been redefined, businesses must ensure their proposition still has relevance and is distinctive enough to cut through all these changes.
3) Change Management & Cost Optimisation – firms will need to restructure and rationalise. The approach of reducing cost across the business has never felt more important than now.
4) HR – the transformation of working patterns is requiring a rethink on how to best deploy workforces, providing safety in the workplace alongside ensuring those home working still feel part of the organisations culture. It is also critical to ensure that the organisation itself can maintain its values amongst its teams. Talent attraction and development strategies also need redeveloping.
What has been the focus of the HR team?
We have learnt that keeping the HR community together and sharing best practice during this pandemic is vital. Companies need to reach an agreement quickly on a wide range of topics, including how to maintain important operations, how to find a balance of work remotely by still having a productive workforce.
With each country having their own strategy to implement a ‘new norm’ that is Covid compliant, there is no ‘one size fits all’. It is important for an employer to be even more supportive to their staff by offering advice on effective remote working tools and online digital learning.
The senior leaders within HR will have been assessing what the future landscape of the business could look like and the timeframes to returning to business as usual.
In conjunction with the Facilities Director, the HR leaders will also be required to look at implementing effective social distancing measures such as office layouts, to one way routes through buildings.
The socio-economic concerns have been brought to light more than ever before as a result of Covid. Employers would do well to observe where and how their staff are dealing with remoteness and isolation. Being mindful that every staff member has different circumstances, and offering support and advice to those who are struggling.
Will an organisation’s people strategy be relevant moving forward?
We are living in a time where Technology is advanced and companies are moving more towards an agile way of working. It is therefore even more important for businesses to have core values which can be easily translated and accepted. In preparing their people for the future, providing them with career enhancing opportunities and having the awareness of recognising strong performance and talent are all going to be significant to the future growth of the organisation.
Do you anticipate any changes to how to attract and retain talent?
The recruitment process in general will be affected without question. Not only will organisations be more cautious with their expenditure, anyone looking to join a new company are much more likely to succumbe to additonal due diligence and increased levels of governance approval, particularly for more senior hires. There are some positives as well, for example, video interviewing. This has allowed organisations to operate with rapidity once they have identified a strong candidate as both parties have increased availability due to working from home. There will also be a multitude of excellent talent coming into the market over the next few months as some sectors will be more significantly affected by the crisis. The opportunity to recruit from different sectors will help accelerate transformation, companies should encourage the diverse talent coming into the market and look at what transferable skills they have.
What are we doing at Robert Cavendish to help?
The crisis has reinforced values of putting the customer first, working together, improving & innovating and acting responsibly with an open mind. Talent remains top of many businesses’ agenda and they continue to recruit where they have skill gaps or where they have business growth opportunities. We have assembled a team of senior leaders in the industry who have in-depth experience across turnaround and transformation within the retail financial services sector. We believe our trusted network can assist with cost management, proposition development, change management and HR issues which many companies are facing whilst working towards the new normal. We can arrange a video call to discuss how we can help you rethink your strategy.
Get in touch today with our MD – firstname.lastname@example.org