Rishi Sunak has warned us, “The hard times are here…” well, from the perspective of the vast majority of employers and workers out there, it’s been hard for a while now and we didn’t need a crystal ball or a gravely plummeting GDP figure to clarify that. The stark realisation of just how badly global economies and specifically the UK has been hit does however, trigger pressing questions and how we respond to those questions both in policy and in action will be the difference between survival and ruin for the many and not the few.
While many focus on Recession, others will not have the luxury of awaiting the Chancellors Autumn update on budget and further spending reviews and so are looking to the other big R’sof the moment– Refocus, Reset, Retrain and Recover.
As all are encouraged and incentivised by Government to retain our workforce, unfortunately latest statistics reveal record unemployment with both ends of the spectrum, young people and those approaching retirement expected to take the biggest hit. Employers have had to face their own realisations, doing more with less, reallocating and reshaping the workforce to meet the new norms of business and day to day life, quickly reanalysing how they must adapt in order to survive and if they indeed have the resources to meet that new demand.
This time of reflection has provided great opportunity for employers to revisit some of those projects that fell to the wayside, those workstreams we once considered as “nice to have” now stare us in the face with such urgency as we reprioritise and refocus. Remit have worked with so many employers to understand and address some of these challenges through retrainingsuch as advanced customer service, colleague resilience and wellbeing as well as leadership and management and we’re seeing a clear trend and importantly impact in some reoccurring, critical areas.
The combined restrictions of lockdown and social distancing has rocked brand loyalty to the core with consumers turning to whoever and wherever they can to get what they need. The threat of a second wave has therefore spurred organisations to a) maximise customer experience to regain that trusted consumer base and b) ready themselves, with a robust digital transformation strategy. While any organisational review and associated training programmes should encompass cognitive, physical and emotional agendas as a minimum, it is technological readiness where we are seeing greatest demand and impact.
We live in a world where we are influenced by, purchase from and sell to clients and consumers across the globe on a daily basis. Markets, products and services are fiercely competitive and consumers have more power in choice and purchasing than ever before. We expect instant connectivity, easy access and fast delivery all of which depend on reliable, attractive and savvy tech and with reports that the UK is swiftly falling behind our global competitors in digital presence and power, we need to do more to stay ahead of the game. The time is now.
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