Well, folks, it’s been one heck of a year…but we’re finally reaching the Covid finish line (knock on wood). The vaccine has been rolled out, restrictions are beginning to lift, and business is starting to go back to “normal.” But in order to get back to business as usual, you need to do a few things first…
How to get back to business as normal after Covid
Getting back to business post-Covid is exciting. But if you want it to be smooth sailing for your business, team, and customers, make sure all your ducks are in a row.
Here’s what you need to do to successfully get back to business post-pandemic.
1. Pay attention to employee needs
I’ve said it a few times, and I’ll say it again: Your employees are the foundation of your small business. Heck, without them, your business would likely crumble. So before going back to business as usual, pay attention to your employees’ needs.
If you’ve been experimenting with remote work for the past year and some odd months like me, your team has probably adjusted to a new work style. And their needs have shifted over the past year. Instead of making them jump right back into in-person work as usual and pretend like Covid never happened, listen to their concerns.
To find out their preferences about returning to work as business goes back to normal, consider distributing a survey. You can ask questions about:
- Continued remote work
- Hybrid work (i.e., working a few days in-person)
- Level of comfort about returning to work
2. Establish a game plan
When making any big moves in business (like returning to work after Covid), it’s always a good idea to come up with a game plan. That way, your team knows exactly what to expect and when it’s going to happen.
In your getting-back-to-business-as-usual game plan, detail all aspects of your plan of action. Include the following information:
- Timeline for returning back to work (e.g., 50% capacity by August)
- When employees will begin coming back (set a start date, and stick with it)
- Protocols for being in the workplace (e.g., wear a mask if you’re not vaccinated)
- What to do if there’s a Covid outbreak in the workplace
- Information about remote work
The more information you include in your plan, the better. Leaving out important details could wind up causing confusion and possibly cause your team to panic.
3. Keep communication open and honest
Regardless of if your business is remote, in-person, or a little bit of both, communication is an essential part of getting back to business after the pandemic.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, including your employees and customers, make communication a priority. And, don’t be afraid to over-communicate. After all, it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate.
To keep your employees in the loop about returning to business (e.g., game plan, new requirements, etc.), you can host a virtual or in-person meeting or send out email updates to your team. No matter what communication method you use, make sure you’re giving them plenty of opportunities to ask questions.
When it comes to communicating your new business rules, hours of operation, etc. to your customers, you can keep them informed via:
- Social media
- Signage (e.g., posting signs outside of your storefront)
4. Stay up-to-date on state guidelines
Just because we’re on the tail-end of the pandemic doesn’t mean it’s all said and done just yet. Depending on where your business is located, you may still need to keep up with and follow specific guidelines set by your state.
Restrictions can vary by state when it comes to mask mandates, health screenings, etc. To make sure your business is following the state’s rules regarding Covid and any restriction lifts, you can:
- Subscribe to blogs
- Receive email notifications
- Read the newspaper or watch the news
- Check out the CDC’s website
- Take a look at your state’s website
If you’re not sure about your state’s rules when it comes to Covid, contact your state directly. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Revamp your budget
If your team went partially or fully remote or you shook up the way you did business, chances are you made some adjustments to your business budget at some point in the last year. And now that it’s time to get back to business, your budget could likely use some revamping again.
As part of your recovery before going back to business, take a look at your business budget. Some expenses that can impact your budget include:
- Overhead costs (e.g., utilities)
- Employee wages
Some costs, like utilities, may have been reduced over the last year if you weren’t in the building to use them. So keep that in mind when reviewing your budget. And account for new expenses you may incur while slowly getting back into the swing of things (e.g., cleaning and sanitation costs for your business).
6. Stick with what has been working
During the pandemic, you likely adopted some new policies that didn’t exist in your company pre-Covid (e.g., remote work). But just because you’re trying to get back to business as normal doesn’t mean you have to throw all of the policies that have been working well for your company out the window.
When going back to business, stick with what has been working for you and your employees. Has remote work been productive for your team? Consider making remote work a permanent policy (33% of businesses are planning on doing so). Are communication tools, like Slack, working in your favor? Keep using them.
Take a look at the strategies you put in place over the last year and how effective they were for your team. If the strategy or policy worked well and bettered your business, consider making it a permanent part of your business.
Blending what has worked in the past with new policies, keeping communication open, and creating clear guidelines will help everyone adjust to the new normal and get back to business smoothly.
The post Getting Back to Business as Normal in a Post-Pandemic Era appeared first on Entrepreneur
Original source: Entrepreneur