– by Orion Talmay
Orion Talmay is a wellness expert and love coach. Through her integrative approach, Orion’s Method, she helps women awaken their inner goddess and nurture their feminine confidence. Orion is a graduate of Tony Robbins’ Mastery University and holds certifications with the AAPT, KBA, and AFFA.”
It’s difficult to think back to predictions made even just months ago. They were perfectly reasonable when they were made, of course, as no one could have anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic and everything that has stemmed from it: all the lives that have been lost, all the companies that have been driven out of business, and all the professionals that have been furloughed or fired. But in hindsight they seem so optimistic.
Now that most of the world has adapted to these odd circumstances (having become quite accustomed to working remotely if at all, queuing to enter stores, and staying at home whenever possible), it’s as good a time as any to come up with revised predictions. We may not know when lockdown measures will be lifted, but what can we expect from the rest of 2020?
Well, in the business world, I’m absolutely confident that much of the business transformation that occurs will be driven by human capital and change management. What does this mean, and why do I consider it so likely? Allow me to explain:
Clearly defining these important terms
In case you’re not familiar with the titular terms, I’ll tell you how I view them (you can look up broader definitions if you’re curious). Human capital encapsulates all the value contained in a company’s employees, and that goes beyond basic productivity to include interpersonal skills. It’s hard to represent human capital in fiat currency, but it could be done if you had a supercomputer, a complex formula, and a lot of time to crunch the numbers. In general, though, human capital analysis reinforces the point that keeping an employee is better than hiring one.
Change management, meanwhile, similarly encapsulates efforts to prompt and support change at an organizational level. Businesses can be sluggish to react and adapt, particularly as they grow bigger and pick up more inertia, so change management seeks to grease the wheels (so to speak) and make it a little easier to get suggestions accepted and implemented.
Why human capital should be a top priority
What are the assets that companies tend to care about? Well, quite often they’ll put a lot of care into their offices: they’ll invest heavily in designing and decorating them, and focus on keeping up appearances to impress prospective clients or business partners. Is this sensible? Not necessarily, but it happened a lot before this outbreak. Not so much now.
With companies needing to work remotely, they’re coming to understand that what matters isn’t how shiny their offices are or how carefully-crafted their logos may be. Once you’ve made it a few weeks with everyone working from home and continued to hit your targets, you can’t help but acknowledge that it’s the employees that matter.
Accordingly, managerial types are getting better at investing in things like mental health and general wellbeing instead of treating employees as cogs in their wheels. They can take steps like paying for exercise courses (sites like Wexer provide various fitness classes and options for accessing them), allowing employees to take mental health days off with no questions asked, or putting workers in touch with life coaches.
Only by making their employees happier and healthier will companies be able to significantly improve morale and productivity as 2020 rolls on, eventually leading to greater efficiency, better results, and stronger performance in general. That’s the key to transformation.
The need for change management in a turbulent time
As for change management, well, it’s fairly straightforward: businesses must change to adapt to the demands of this locked-down business world, or else be forced to cease operation. What managers would like to do is somewhat immaterial. Even if everyone in a company agrees upon what’s necessary, though, that doesn’t mean they’ll find it easy to do it — or even be able to do.
Whether they read up on the principles of change management or decide to consult with third-party experts (like Afiniti, for instance) on what changes they need to make, the onus is on companies everywhere to fully commit to changing with the times. It’s a life or death situation in more ways than one.