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Five skills that will keep your business thriving after COVID-19

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More than a year into the pandemic, what was once considered a “new normal” isn’t so new anymore.

Bricks-and-mortar shops have established work-from-home setups, the use of technology has skyrocketed and some companies have found new and innovative ways of doing business. As a result, new skills are essential both during the global health crisis and as the world recovers.

According to HSBC’s Navigator Resilience: Building back better report, nearly three quarters of Canadian businesses expect some form of flexible work arrangements to become standard for the foreseeable future. Businesses have been reimagining what the physical office space might look like post-pandemic. A recent Gartner survey says 82% of employers will allow staff to work remotely some of the time, and 47% say they’ll allow work from home all the timei.

Regardless of where you’re located while you work, sought-after skills will continue to be in demand once the pandemic passes. Here are five that can help your business thrive once we turn our focus from resiliency to recovery.

  • Adaptability and problem solving
    The IT department is no longer down the hallway and people aren’t allowed to sit in pods together, so the ability to address everyday issues independently is a huge asset. Having employees who have adapted and are able to find solutions to common problems on their own is something that can help keep your business operating smoothly. Businesses are relying on employees who can be left to their own devices to get the job done in a remote setting. It’s not necessarily about the hours each employee puts in every day, but rather what outputs are being achieved.

    With resourceful people on your team who have adapted, remain flexible and manage time effectively, your company will be in good hands both now and post-pandemic.

  • The digital economy
    Technology has transformed the way companies operate by allowing them to remain agile and innovative during the pandemic. Tech has become so dominant in our lives that it’s often replacing most human interactions, which has been especially true during the pandemic. High-speed internet and video conferencing tools are expected to become further embedded as standard ways of working even when we’re fully into the recovery phase.

    Digital adoption has also enabled companies to revamp their business models, in turn driving customers to e-platforms. In his new book, author Fareed Zakaria says life after the pandemic “is going to be, in many aspects, a sped-up version of the world we knew,” indicating the future of work will be highly virtualii.

  • Leading through influence
    You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader in your organization. The writing is on the wall — employees are feeling burned out and disengaged as the pandemic drags on. Now more than ever, they need guidance and support, especially when working remotely.

    Empowering employees through reassuring conversations, praise and by providing clear mandates gives them ownership over their work and a sense of accomplishment. This in turn will create “can-do” attitudes among your staff as they support each other, proving leadership is more than a title.

  • Staying connected 
    Conversing face-to-face is a much more engaging way to communicate, and it’s taken a pandemic to drive that home. Our communication skills have been put to the test as “Zoom fatigue” has taken hold. Virtual conference calls were popular in the beginning of the pandemic, but employers may want to rethink what meetings are mandatory or can be skipped to give employees a break.

    The remote office space has forced us to rely heavily on technology in order to communicate with co-workers and customers. It’s challenged us to get creative when building relationships, having difficult conversations and even when getting someone’s immediate attention. Finding and retaining employees who can communicate with clarity and empathy will help you build trust and stronger relationships among your team while maintaining productivity from afar.

  • Keeping sustainability top of mind
    As businesses continue to forge ahead through continuing pandemic-related shutdowns, considerations must be given to what work will look like after the crisis, which could be just around the corner. Being more environmentally and socially responsible is no longer optional for businesses; customers, regulators and investors alike have come to expect it. Embedding sustainable practices into daily operations will also resonate with your team members, who will feel they’re making a valuable difference in carving a path towards a carbon-free future. 

    In 2020 we saw a dramatic 6% drop in global greenhouse gas emissions fuelled by the pandemic. It is crucial companies take a look at what they’re doing now to see if their efforts can be replicated in the near future, when the economy opens up again. In order to build back better, we need to be more resourceful and innovative, and must prioritize sustainability now and in the future.

    Contact HSBC to find out more about how your business can thrive in the new normal.

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