by Shayne Thomas
18 Jun 2020
3 Reasons Why Being In Crisis-Mode Shouldn’t Automatically Default You Into Short-Term Thinking
The time is now to invest in solutions that will drive long-term impact
It may seem like the only certainty in life today is the uncertain. The last few months definitely haven’t been easy whatsoever. And because there’s no real “light at the end of the tunnel” yet, it’s all too easy to fall into a wait-and-see mode until the path forward seems clear.
Even during an unprecedented time like this, wait-and-see can’t be adopted as a long-term business tactic. While it may have been “safe” approach when the COVID-19 pandemic first turned the world upside down—when no one had any idea about what the future had in store—it’s simply no longer an excuse to keep your business from moving forward and getting back into a normal-ish rhythm.
Although life isn’t anywhere near “back to normal” yet, there are glimmers of hope popping up left and right. Not to mention, as businesses have had to adapt to this new normal, they’ve had myriad opportunities to re-invent what business-as-usual looks like through a more digital or virtual lens. This has, in turn, created a slew of innovations that will not only drive benefits in the short-term—at the very least, for as long as this crisis has its grip on the world—but will also have a lasting impact on how businesses operate from this point forward.
In other words, this is not the time to put everything on hold until things go back to normal because, let’s face it, that’s not happening anytime soon. It’s time to pick up where you left off before the novel coronavirus reared its ugly head. Your business depends on it just as much as your employees depend on it, too.
An economic crisis is a perfect time to innovate for a better future
Businesses of all shapes and sizes have come under pressure during this global economic and health crisis. Budgets have been cut, teams have been laid off or furloughed, product roadmaps have been stalled, and all sorts of other challenges have emerged. This doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
But here’s what we know: HR is more important than ever during times of crisis. Having the right tools and solutions in place to manage teams, especially when the bulk of employees is now working remotely from home, is absolutely critical.
So, if over the last few months you’ve put your HR tech implementation plans and projects “on hold” until further notice, here are three important reasons why you should reconsider that decision now:
1. It will immediately improve efficiency and productivity
Research has shown over and over again that manual HR processes waste time. On average, HR professionals lose 14 hours per week of their valuable time to manual processes. That’s almost a full two days of work per week lost as a result of systems inefficiencies! Let that sink in.
Even worse, 28% of HR professionals have said they waste 20 or more hours per week on these manual tasks while roughly 10% admit to losing 30 or more hours per week.
At a time when many businesses want to save, it seems silly to continue wasting so much time on ineffective and inefficient processes that, for all intents and purposes, don’t work. Just think about much money you would save as well as how much revenue you could generate if your HR teams were equipped with the right tools to help them stay productive and, in turn, give them more time back to drive employee success and productivity across the entire organization?
Uncertain times require us to be more buttoned-up than ever before. Relying on ineffective processes to help you weather the storm of this crisis—those that you were likely already in the process of changing out before the crisis hit—is not a strategy for success.
Your HR team needs the right tools to keep your business growing and your employees moving forward in their day-to-day responsibilities and in their careers. Whether you need better solutions for recruiting (because, yes, that still happens during a recession), performance management, or learning and development—or all of the above—the time is now to make every part of your business, especially HR, run more effectively than ever before.
Think less about the budget that goes into implementing these solutions and more about both the cost-savings and business growth opportunities that will stem from doing so
2. It will scale learning and training in a cost-effective way
As mentioned above, having the wrong tools—or relying on overly manual processes—can wreak havoc on productivity, waste valuable time, and end up costing you more than you think.
Before COVID-19, you may have found yourself doing orientations and training or compliance sessions in-person and sometimes in rather ad-hoc ways. While this still isn’t the most efficient way to go about this work, at least you had the benefit of having everyone present in an office to participate in these sessions.
Now that much of the workforce is remote for the foreseeable future—or, in some cases, where teams are taking turns with their days in the office—these kinds of training sessions are no longer turnkey, nor are they scalable by any means. This new normal requires different tools and solutions to keep this kind of work moving forward regardless of real-world constraints.
A strong learning management system (LMS), like Cornerstone Learning, can put important content in the hands of all your employees in a scalable and measurable way. Whether you need to host an onboarding for 5 new employees or conduct ethics training for a company of 100,000 employees—now required in a virtual format—these tools can help you cover all of your bases in a consistent way at a much lower per-employee versus using vendors for live classroom training or pay-per-view training content.
Even better, as your company evolves and grows, your LMS can change and adapt to your business’s needs rapidly. This not only can bring significant cost-savings to many of your training and learning programs, but it can also give you a single hub for making changes to educational content on the fly that can, with a single click, reach all employees instantly.
While this is only one example of how the scalability of a platform like this can help businesses reduce costs and drive increased compliance across employees—all measurable, mind you—it’s also proof that implementing tools like this now will not only have an immediate and positive impact on your business in the short-term but also give you a more solid foundation to scale and grow down the road.
Long story short: although implementing solutions like this requires an upfront investment, that investment is a relative drop-in-the-bucket compared to the long-term savings it will drive.
3. It will support employees in pursuing their career goals
Just because the world came to a standstill—and for all we know, might do so again in the near future—doesn’t mean that your employee’s goals and aspirations suddenly stopped in their tracks, too. Your business may have taken a wait-and-see approach for pursuing broader business goals or implementing new tools and solutions. This doesn’t automatically force your employees to go into auto-pilot, too, until you can finally declare business-as-usual again.
Every business has confronted this crisis in different ways. Some teams have been absolutely swamped with work—often the result of layoffs or furloughs pushing the workload of multiple employees onto a single employee—while others have had extra time on their hands to think about their future goals. Either way, there’s no better time than now when things are in flux to remind employees that you still care about helping them develop and grow.
Skills development is critical at a time like this. For example, if your business has traditionally been one of those that hasn’t embraced remote work with open arms in the past, there’s a good chance your employees needed some time to adapt to working from home at the onset of the crisis. Doing work outside of an office is not necessarily second nature for everyone.
And since it’s also highly likely that this work-from-home reality will be sticking around for the long-term—with many companies already suggesting that working remotely will likely last through the end of the year or even considering offering permanent work-from-home options for certain job roles even once the crisis is over—it’s important that employees get skilled up on how to survive, thrive, and excel in this new kind of working environment.
Additionally, this crisis may have uncovered some unexpected skills gaps within your organization that you would not have otherwise noticed under “normal” circumstances. See this as a positive thing: it’s an opportunity for you to reskill or upskill employees to meet the demands of this new reality.
Again, a powerful LMS, like Cornerstone Learning, can form the backbone for building a stronger work-from-home workforce, continuing to support employees in their career development (even under the most uncertain circumstances), and making it possible to deploy now-essential training to all employees, at a distance and at scale. All of this can go a long way for boosting employee happiness, satisfaction, and, most importantly, retention. Remember, championing the success of your employees is not something that happens only when business is operating as usual; as HR professionals, this should be your number one focus throughout the year.
Don’t fall into the trap of short-term thinking
Everyone wants the world to go back to normal. There are very few people who would argue with that. But, unfortunately, going back to normal doesn’t necessarily mean going back to the way things were before COVID-19 became a household name for all of us. It goes without saying that things will be different from here on out. Some things will evolve and change for the better while other aspects of once-normal daily life may disappear entirely. It’s tough to tell, right this very second, what the future really holds for all of us. That’s why it’s important to avoid falling into the trap of short-term thinking, as tough as that may seem.
If anything, it’s more important now than ever before to think about the long-term, taking the learnings we’ve acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic to not only pandemic-proof our businesses and workforces moving forward but also to reshape and re-invent our businesses in unique and dynamic ways. HR is at the heart of many of these activities and, as such, needs the right tools and solutions to help their organizations, as a whole, work towards a stronger future.
So, if you were considering taking the bold step towards taking your HR solutions to the next level before the novel coronavirus shook daily life to its very core, you should still consider it and, better yet, take action on it. The time to invest in your business, in your employees, and in your future is now. This really has no price tag. The team at Cornerstone is ready to help.