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How workplace strategy will be affected by COVID-19. Part 1

Updated: Apr 4

27 March 2020.

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to cause a major shift in workplace strategy. The chaos created by the outbreak of COVID-19 will in all likelihood be felt for months (perhaps even years) in organisations around the world. Many small to medium sized businesses will struggle to survive and most will suffer a direct hit to their cash flow. The trauma of the changing environment will be felt by employees and they will look to their leadership for security and answers, who in turn may struggle to provide answers.


Is your workplace strategy still stuck in the 80’s?


The Coronavirus has exposed how outdated many workplace strategies are within organisations. Specifically, Human Resources has not evolved much since the 1980s and many companies will suddenly realise that they are far behind in the changing dynamics of employment.

Workplace strategy can be defined as the organisational drivers in the work environment that reduce costs and maximise their performances. Without alignment between these drivers, organisations will fail to execute on their strategies. Alignment creates optimal efficiency within complex workplaces. With the crisis facing global markets due to the global pandemic, the need for a clear, concise workplace strategy is of the utmost importance now more than ever.


In my opinion, the five key drivers of workplace strategies are:

  • Resources

  • Innovation

  • Leadership

  • Culture

  • Purpose

Most organisations look at these five key areas independently of one another when they should be considered as co-dependent variables. A change in one area will most certainly have an impact on the other key areas and not always for the better.


The workplace strategy formula


If one considers these five drivers in scientific terms one could place them into a formula to show the intricate relationships between them.

No matter how dynamic and innovative they are, resources, innovation and leadership can be undermined by a poor work culture. In addition, the purpose of the company is the magic exponent in the equation because it has the potential to amplify successful output significantly. Companies that have a clear purpose perform far better that those who don’t. Often, this reflects in company results: they gaining greater market share and grow three times faster than their competitors. In addition, their workforce remains happy and clients remain committed. Companies that have a strong purpose and are aligned with resources, innovation, leadership and culture are the ones most likely to survive the crisis.

Over the next 21 days, Clarkhouse CEO, Roy Clark will unpack the challenges facing leadership during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read Part 2 here.

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