Are we ready to start talking about “coming back?” In our humble opinion, regardless of what any politician says, we are not “back” until we can get our kids out of our house (sanity now!), but that’s a whole other story!
Honestly, we’re not sure if its safe yet, or what “coming back” truly looks like, but we do know that there are a ton of things we should be preparing for in the meantime, until we find out what the new normal actually will be.
Here are a few tips on preparing for the new normal to get us started.
Employees – First and Foremost.
If they have successfully done their jobs remotely for the past months, first ask if they must come back. Could their jobs be done remotely going forward? Maybe they just need to come in for a few meetings on site with the customer or a few team meetings. Assuming you’ve already made the investment in providing access (i.e. laptop, etc.), why not consider making their position remote? You may need to consult with your GovCon HR department for this, but the results are worth it. Making remote work the new normal at your organization will make you far more resilient should another pandemic come through.
Clients – Partners or Pain?
Your relationship with your government customer and/or your prime is vital to the new path forward. How often are you communicating with them? Are you all messaging the same information to the workforce? Are your policies consistent in how you will handle social distancing on site, providing PPP, sick leave requests, etc.? Consistent, direct messaging is always best, especially now when nerves are frayed, and rumors are rampant. With the advent of new workflow technology, being available at all times is the new normal in the workplace, and if you’re not communicating with your clients enough, it could be the reason they find another business to partner with.
New Employees – Recruiting isn’t the same.
Now more than ever we are hiring people via Zoom calls. Make sure that your GovCon recruiting process is standardized so that you aren’t discriminating against potential candidates. Really work on the questions you will ask (there are a ton of resources currently available). This will help you get the best feel for the candidate and if they will be a good fit for your company. Make sure your online presence is updated so they can get a feel for you as a business. Consider extending the interview panel to not just leadership, but peers so the candidate can get a good feel for the organization. Currently, candidates are reluctant to make a move – for them it’s about the devil you know versus the devil you don’t. You need to be able to easily convey what your organization stands for and its culture, so candidates feel confident to make the jump. With the right hires, you can approach the new normal with far more confidence, but you’ll need to find those perfect candidates first.
Office Space – It’s a whole new world.
Depending on your landlord, consider renegotiating your lease. Look in the contract for any modifications that you need to make to have a more “socially distant” office space. Gone are the days of 2 or 3 people sharing a cube. There will be a ton of advice coming out about this, start paying attention to best practices. Please give up on the idea that everyone must be in the same place at the same time. Even our intel folks are finding ways to spread out the work, spread out the timing. This will be the new normal going forward.
There are a million landmines ahead, and we’re pretty sure the lawyers will end up making out as we traverse this new world. But our strongest bet is on common sense and doing what is right will hold up. If you need help navigating this world, give us a shout. We’re always available with GovCon back-office services to make your organization more efficient, organized, and profitable.