Christa Rose Avampato tweeted this morning,
1 silver lining of the #coronavirus issue is it’s causing people to take care of their health. For freelancers & solopreneurs like me this is esp important because we don’t have sick days & often overwork ourselves. My game plan: Eat well, sleep well, exercise, de-stress.
Christa, along with many of us, is trying to find the silver lining as the media finds every virus pun to put on their front page. I'd like to preface this piece by saying that I am by no means taking the situation lightly - nor am I here to provide recommendations in what should or should not be done. But as someone who's has worked with companies, small and large, through change management strategies, I'm finding interesting trends that should be focused on in the days and months to come.
Highlighted by my colleague and Dot Connector, Steve Vilkas,
With change comes fear, with change comes a landscape which appears unclear, and with slow change is that lingering element of the unfair. With a clear understanding of the situation - a situation which affects us all, real change and progress IS possible.
As a change-mindset advocate, there are insights that we need to be considering today in light of the changes that have already taken underway. I'm sharing my notes on what I'm predicting will be the next wave in digital transformation and company culture.
- Rise of technologies that promote and cultivate working and networking remotely including Slack, Asana, Airtable and IntroVoke. These platforms will likely see an uptick in subscribers in the coming weeks as individuals and companies alike look for ways to stay integrated on a human level within the comforts of their homes. Just because many are taking precautions by staying at home doesn't mean our lives need to hit the PAUSE button. Get out there digitally and stay in-the-know.
- Rise in digital marketing strategies to account for the decrease in networking events. The decisions to put these gatherings on hold are affecting not only the organizers but also vendors and speakers scheduled to attend. A handful of items to be considered:
- How will organizations increase their digital marketing efforts to broaden their brand reach?
- How will experts and public figures maximize their public speaking abilities online in lieu of presenting at TED-style engagements?
- How will charities and non-profits raise awareness and funding in lieu of their “traditional” manner during in-person events? Platforms that have already been on top of the curve like hollarhype will likely become their primary platform to help convert and continue to accelerate their cause.
- Rise in the hiring of digital marketing experts to assist with company efforts. A drive to enhance a remote and digital presence will likely need to be lead by a group of industry game changers. The usual friction points that have been used by companies that have resisted change will need to be met with a digital friendly user experience with trackable results.
- Rise in online course subscriptions in lieu of attending traditional in-person classes. Platforms that have taken the lead in this field include Skillshare and MasterClass among others.
- Rise in digital initiatives by community businesses. For example, local restaurants who were hesitant in adopting technology may be more convinced in signing on to delivery app providers such as UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.
- Rise in government organizations as adopters of online chat to accommodate questions and concerns in real-time with quicker response rates – no face-to-face interaction needed.
- Refinement of digital mannerisms on social media and communication platforms. Let's face it. Not everyone knows how to communicate effectively online. In the absence of hand gestures and visual cues, what you say and how you stress your words matters. This form of digital etiquette will likely need to either be taught for some or refreshed for others. Working and effectively communicating online is a skill - a skill that many startup founders, networkers, and marketers already practice within their daily routine. This also emphasizes clear, cohesive communication standards in lieu of over-extended “meetings-about-meetings”
- Open adoption to remote work within “traditional industries” or lines of work. Occupations such as those found in the legal, finance and other professional service industries, for example, may now be making the transition to remote-flexibility.
- Training to help adoption of remote-friendly platforms. Digital may be more instinctual for some industries than others. Due to a large gap in the workplace, companies will need to include on boarding workshops to help facilitate the digital gap between the spectrum of age ranges.
- Updating of manuals and employee handbooks by human resources professionals + departments. If you're in the people ops industry, the People Ops Society provides an interaction platform to learn from and engage with other people op professionals to transform the workplace. In one of they're latest Instagram posts, they're already sharing templates and tactics on how to prepare for COVID-19.
- Addressing a potential decrease in company benefits/perks used. In light of the recent circumstances, many are reconsidering their future travels plans. What if your company has a unlimited PTO policy? How to do adjust to meet the needs of your employees?
- Reconsideration of your entire perks program. Other perks may need updating especially if there's a need to accommodate for an influx in remote workforce. That on-site gym or Friday lunches may now need to be replaced with MINDBODY subscriptions or Grubhub weekly lunch deliveries. Compt has already taken the lead in transforming perk programs to help personalize and meet the evolving needs of companies and their employees. Through their platform, companies can incorporate flexibility to adjust with the changing market.
We're all staying tuned to what's to come and adjusting as best we can technologically and culturally all the while maintaining a sense of humanism and strength. If you need help tackling a company transition in technology, communications, and culture, get in touch. Reminder to all to take care of yourself, each other, and to check-in (digitally) within our online community.