How to Maintain Productivity During Covid-19 - Communication is Key

Worker with hardhat and phone

We’re lucky here in Australia that the coronavirus pandemic is largely under control and businesses are able to slowly resume regular operations. In New Zealand, the scenario is even better with only a handful of cases remaining. However in both countries, we continue to be reminded that this pandemic isn’t completely over yet. There is a real risk of a second wave if we allow ourselves to get complacent and I believe companies which quickly and proactively adapt their practices have the greatest chance of successfully navigating this period.

Speed + Discipline

A recent McKinsey briefing report reflected on how the top 20% of companies that emerged from the 2007 recession (“Resilients”) could attribute their success to speed and discipline. This included moving faster and harder on productivity. These companies saw a 30% increase in revenue compared to non-resilient companies, despite having no starting advantage. 

Yet productivity is one the biggest challenges businesses are currently facing. This pandemic has been unsettling not just for business operations but for personal lives. The flow-on effects on company morale and staff performance shouldn’t be underestimated and companies need to be working on reinforcing the trust of their employees and contractors. Already we’re seeing signs that people on JobKeeper, especially those in the retail and hospitality sector, are reluctant to return to work. So how can your company become one of the 2020 Resilients?

Why Communication is More Important Than Ever

In this constantly evolving environment, the importance of clear and effective communication has been repeatedly highlighted. For example, the Cedar Meats outbreak in Victoria has been linked to disjointed communication between the labour-hire company, abattoir and Department of Health and Human Services.

Closer to home at Konnective, we’ve seen an uptick in companys’ communication with their employees. Here’s what one client had to say - 

"Very glad we signed up, never more so than right now, during this COVID-19 crisis, which is making it so important to maintain regular communication with all our staff."

Speed, accuracy and sensitivity in company communications is particularly critical currently to keep people engaged and feeling safe and confident in their ability to complete their job. This is particularly true for companies with dispersed, non-desk based workforces. 

If you haven’t moved away from trickle-down communication, now is the time. 91% of Australians now own a smartphone device - why not reach your team where you know you can find them? So many companies continue to rely on intranet posts, physical notice boards, in-person meetings or mass emails (something which many people without a corporate email address can’t even access!) to share important, company wide updates. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted that these old-school forms of communication won’t cut  it anymore.

We see a lot of opportunity in this current turbulent environment. We believe history will repeat itself and that companies which act quickly and decisively in updating how they communicate with their workforce will be best positioned to weather this period and create strong foundations for longer term growth. Looking forward to seeing the paths companies choose over the next few months!