Lockdown has hit various businesses in the world. The attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic has compelled governments to shut down businesses leaving essential ones to keep the system running. The unexpected pandemic has thrown business plans and strategies out of the window. The future of the lockdown is uncertain, economic activities are grounded to an indefinite halt. The huge impact of the pandemic on the employer is a threat to the future of the employee.
The Exceptional Employee is one who takes maximum preventive measures against the virus and maximizes this lockdown period to support the employer to survive in this challenging time, as well as sharpen his professional edge to be more useful to the employer in new work age.
My previous post highlighted the steps employees can take to position themselves in readiness to new ways of working, which businesses would be forced to implement in order to survive.
This post seeks to unveil the ways employees can contribute and support their organizations during this uncertain times; so they will have a business to return to after the lockdown.
- Understand the industry or sector of your business
The lockdown perfectly affords us the opportunity to pause, reflect, research and understand the industry in which we work. As an exceptional employee (irrespective of your role), you may want to seek answers to the following questions;
- How viable is our market now?
- What is the impact of the global pandemic on our clients and vendors?
- How relevant are our services in this period?
- How can we rise above competition during and after lockdown?
- What resources can be deployed to maintain client relationships during the lockdown?
- How do we manage client payment defaults at this time?
- What novel strategies should be employed to ensure business continuity?
- Discuss the future of the business
The Exceptional Employee will show concern about the future of the business and discuss possibilities and strategies depending on the extent of the impact of the global crisis. Depending on the team size, you can engage in direct conversations with the business owner or team leads on how the business can take advantage of the opportunities and rise above the challenges presented by the pandemic. Discussing the future of your organization demonstrates your commitment and loyalty. Your show of concern will help you to think outside the box for solutions. The Exceptional Employee is one who maintains his relevance in business during this lockdown.
- Stay connected to work
You have a responsibility of staying connected to your work. The Exceptional Employee will work diligently, optimize time, volunteer for additional tasks, deliver within agreed timelines, execute previously agreed projects with novel solutions, actively contribute during team calls, maintain client relationships and follow a proactive routine to achieve results.
- Acquire new skills
The lockdown affords us much time to ourselves than normal times. The Exceptional Employee will keep his brain actively engaged on useful resources, in order to sharpen old skills and acquire new skill sets. In the face of the global challenges, digital skills will be necessary for the successful accomplishment of any task. More than ever before, online learning resources and platforms are available for free learning.
- Financial sacrifices
The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) mentions that the duty of an Employer is to ensure the employee is free from any situation that may cause damage to an employee’s health while lawfully on the employer’s premises and by extension while carrying out the Business of the employer. In adherence to this, and in accordance with the lockdown protocols, business may not be booming as usual, except for essential services and businesses that have invested greatly in digital platforms. Employers may be compelled to negotiate a variation of the remuneration agreed in the employment contract or require that employees go on leave without pay. Sacrifices may have to be made to keep the business running, all at no fault of either the employers or employees in the case of COVID-19. The Exceptional Employee would have to understand and co-operate with these measures while contributing to the survival of the business.
Exceptional Employees refer to employees who make the best of opportunities and challenges to continue to be relevant in their organizations.
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The writer, Grace Asiedua Osafo, is the Lead HR Consultant for Excel HR Consult.