Management task: Put your employees’ short-time work to good use.
As of today, 1 April 2020, many employees will be on short time as a result of the crisis – in all manner of sectors, from trade businesses to airlines. If you are a manager or entrepreneur, you will be asking yourself the following questions: “What kind of work can I give employees on short time? “How do I keep employees motivated when they are on short time?” “How can we all benefit from short-time work?”
Looking forward is important as well:
“What happens after short-time work?
How do I reintegrate my employees in a meaningful way?
What skills could my employees need that they do not yet have today?”
You aren’t the only one asking these questions!
Your strategic management task: Answering business questions and developing plans
One thing is for sure: As an employer or manager, you must be able to benefit from your employees being at home and “idle”. What kind of benefit could that be?
Answer these two sets of questions to find out:
What activities and projects are going well now – what areas need your support?
Perhaps employees on short time can help out in areas outside their usual core responsibilities?
What skills and expertise will they require to be able to tackle new tasks?
How will your business fare immediately after the crisis?
Roughly speaking, there are two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Your business starts up strong again immediately after the bridging period.
As a result: All employees will need to be primed to get off to a flying start on day X. From 0 to 100. Depending on your answers to the above questions, the next question is: What should my employees be able to do that they may not yet be able to do now? What additional skills will they need? In terms of:
- a change in working arrangements…
- new products
- markets etc.
As a consequence, your employees will need new skills and abilities.
Scenario 2: Only part of your business starts up again for economic reasons
As a result: There will not be enough work to go around for all the employees in the current business model. This will give rise to the following questions:
- Will some employees have to leave or work less? Which ones exactly?
- Can I use the freed-up potential of these employees for other purposes? Does it make sense to retrain them?
- Which employees do I need to keep on the job to ensure that business can continue, no matter what?
- Will these employees need additional skills after the crisis?
Putting short time to good use: Strategically targeted professional development training
You get the picture: Now is the best and the right time to strategically (re)position your business and to invest in training your employees. My recommendation to you: Take the time now to answer these questions carefully. Think ahead for a span of at least one to three years – taking into account all the associated uncertainties. From this, develop a plan of the expertise you will need. Take stock of your employees’ current competencies and compare them to your needs. Perhaps it makes sense to deploy employees elsewhere? Which qualifications will you need to “buy in” from outside?
Yes, this plan will be an investment plan. Now is the right time to invest.
No matter what action you decide to take: You are not only investing in the skills of your employees, but also in their motivation and in your mutual relationship. People lose their energy quickly when they are forced into inactivity. Your job is to keep them in shape and on their toes, so that you can set them to work on day X. Targeted and strategically appropriate training is an effective way to tie your employees to your business and to keep them ready for action!
Do you feel in over your head facing this task alone? Are you unsure about the direction your business will take and what action you need to take now? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +436602400135. Together, we will find solutions and develop a plan that’s right for you – I promise!
Your Raluca Ionescu
Your Raluca Ionescu