Welcome again to B³ Monthly,
We are still in the thick of it, but we are starting to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Now is the time to start seriously planning for a return to work and a creating a strategy for the journey into the new normal post COVID. In this month’s edition, we look at ways to continue to support your staff while we are still mostly in isolation, but also how to support the return to work pathways – upskilling, new tech, and renewed value propositions are the way forward – read more on these topics and more below!
B3 FinFit Tool – Update
We successfully launched the B³ FinFit Tool in February 2020. The tool is a dynamic questionnaire measuring a person’s financial health and provides them with tailored education and resources to take the first steps in their financial health journey.
The feedback thus far has been very positive, with users saying that this has been an invaluable tool in understanding their financial situation during a very uncertain financial time.
Our users’ experience further solidifies what we already knew about the financial attitude and situation of our clients’ employees. A few early headline statistics include:
- 43% identify cashflow is a concern for them
- 45% advised they find themselves just getting by financially/living pay cheque to pay cheque
We are excited to continue exploring these findings to better understand the financial concerns and stressors for our clients, and how to combat these with tailored solutions.
Reskill for a resilient post COVID-19 workforce
As the COVID-19 situation drags on most of us can’t wait for the lockdowns to come to an end. Thoughts are now being directed to what the future of work and our workplaces may look like on the other side. As we begin to think about the transition back to the office, we are presented with a fresh set of challenges to overcome. Have we considered what skills will be required in a post COVID workplace?
At Stanford Brown we believe there is an opportunity for employers to upskill/reskill their people, positioning themselves to overcome future business disruptions.
Now is the time for companies to invest in their people, boost their learning budgets and make a commitment to reskilling.
The McKinsey & Company article sets out six key steps in the reskilling process to ensure businesses thrive when they emerge from COVID-19. Consider the following when building your post COVID HR business strategy:
- Build an environment where digital operational capability is at the forefront
- Develop emotional and social intelligence so that your employee can thrive in a world where connectivity is 24/7 and traditional ‘office space’ is fluid
- Train a resilient and adaptable workforce ready for innovation in any situation
Realigning priorities in this new era can be overwhelming, however there are many resources on which to lean. Leadership Coaching and one on one resilience training for senior leaders can build a solid foundation on which the rest of the business can grow. Reach out if you’d like more information on these resources.
Taking what we’ve learned from COVID into our new future
We should pat ourselves on the back – of course there were hiccups and a lot of sleepless nights at the beginning, but for the most part, businesses responded with speed and innovation to the sudden work from home directive. Teams worked quickly, focused on the essentials of customer needs and bureaucratic red tape suddenly wasn’t as important.
Now to keep an advantage in this ever-changing market, companies must commit to keeping this way of thinking – moving swiftly with the needs of staff and the customer as the priority.
Looking back at this time in history, customers and future employees will look at how your company responded. Did it have the employees’ best interest at heart, how were they kept safe and thriving? What were the company values and how did they adapt their strategy to maintain these values through a time of crisis?
MicKinsey & Company outlines that companies successful during this time thought laterally about their workforce; bending job descriptions and hierarchical frameworks to be more solutions focused. Practically, this meant matching tasks to the most appropriate employee, despite hierarchy. It also meant fostering a creative approach to the new obstacles WFH created. Finally, and for many companies most importantly, a renewed focus on technology and process upgrades.
Examples of the ‘new normal’ may mean a greater focus on environmental flexibility (WFH vs work in the office), or upgrading process for allowing staff to share their opinions and ideas through digital platforms built specifically for creative outlet.
At Stanford Brown, our leaders have encouraged us to think outside the box for our clients, to work when we are most productive, and to do so in a healthy and safe way.
If we continue to focus this rapid thinking and adaptive energy on our values, our people and our process then we will come out the other end of the crisis stronger.
Investing 101 – NEW Stanford Brown Video
We continue our financial education series exploring the world of super and investments with our newest video, the beginners guide to investing. Watch now to discover the do’s and don’ts when starting your investment journey. There are many pitfalls that are easily avoided by following our simple guide on what to look out for, when to seek advice and how to start saving for your future!
Feel free to share with your team, or reach out and we can run a similar series specifically for your workforce!
Video Call Fatigue
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hang over us many office employees are getting accustomed to the work from home routine. However have you noticed an increased level of tiredness or fatigue? With such a substantial increase in the use of video call technology our energy levels are being sapped and by the end of a day of back-to-back meetings we’re exhausted. Our need for screens isn’t going away so what can we do to get through this video call fatigue? How can we promote employee engagement in meetings while simultaneously not overwhelming them from screen time overload?
The most obvious piece of advice is to have less video meetings but sometimes this isn’t possible. In her article for the Harvard Business Review Sarah Gershman, president of Green Room Speakers, offers advice for getting participants engaged. A few quick tips are to take notes with a pen and paper which gives your eyes a little break while refocusing your mind. While this may seem basic it does increase information retention and gives a quick break from screen time. Also to avoid hyper-stimulating conversations on repeat managers should allow their employees to turn their cameras off from time to time.
At Stanford Brown, we have negotiated within our teams several forms of communication, allowing varying formats for various personality types. Messaging, email, phone calls, video calls, text are all welcome as long as clearly defined boundaries are adhered to, or as the B3 team calls it, our Rules of Engagement.
So keep motivated and focus on your co-workers faces a little while longer, a return to ‘normal’ is hopefully just around the corner.
Keeping an Active Culture
One of the many things at jeopardy during the COVID-19 isolation stage is the maintenance of company culture. Office banter and motivation is difficult to replicate via conference call.
Stanford Brown have come up with a fantastic way to not only boost morale, but also keep up our physical activity. SB adviser and resident gym rat, Jordan Ryan, has kept us on our toes with weekly Zoom fitness sessions aimed at getting our heart rates and moods up.
It’s a fantastic way to see our colleagues in action, encourage fitness, and motivate one another to work hard (also calling out those who aren’t giving their best effort) – thus keeping our stellar company culture alive! Jordan keeps the exercises easy (lunges, squats, pushups etc) but makes sure we are puffing and panting by the end of it.
We encourage you to think outside the box when promoting physical wellbeing in your office – and by offering staff led workouts, this also promotes team morale!
Check out Jordan’s latest workout here: