Direct Investments

Building a resilient future

As the lid begins to lift and normality is bestowed upon us, there are questions being asked about the future and what it holds for business leaders around the globe.

A recent Ernst and Young survey indicated that 72% of business owners are looking forward to the future and what it holds, and with the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had, that statistic shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are, however, certain question marks over how successful businesses will adapt in terms of resiliency and how they will deal with crisis management in the future.

In October 2020, Forbes and Deloitte surveyed 125 CEOs and identified, that one of the challenges that has been most prevalent is that of employee welfare, and that this issue will be consistent in the coming months as we return to normality.

90% of these CEOs stated that they have taken action to support employee’s mental health over the past twelve months, on top of financial support to these employees during periods of furlough.

Janet Grant, Leadership and Resilience Coach at The Better People, has echoed these sentiments, indicating that the pandemic has identified that successful companies must place emphasis on the wellbeing of employees and management in the future:

“I think for the businesses who were on the front foot, they absolutely emphasised support and focused on employee’s wellbeing. So even if they were on furlough, they were still there and being thought about. People were having regular catch-ups and check-ins to just make sure people were feeling as comfortable as they could be.

“I think that’s been a really important thing and then going forward again with that, we need to put employees absolutely front and centre as far as their wellbeing is concerned. Resilience has been an increasing area of need, because the way we live our lives these days just isn’t instinctive.”

The role of a NXD is one that is bound to change over the coming months and in the future. Janet reiterated that the support NXDs give to leaders and management will play a crucial role:

“The role of the NXD is critical for a lot of businesses. Their role is to represent stakeholders and to provide support, guidance and challenge to the board.

“On top of that, a lot of stakeholders and investors are nervous too, because they are trying to understand what it’s going to mean for them. So, I think for the NXDs, communication is going to be really critical, for both sides, to keep everybody calm, focused and looking ahead to the future.”

“However, a big thing around that, with our people, is to make sure that they listened. We talk about listening skills all the time, but given where our teams, our people and mental health are, it’s even more critical to give people more time. So it’s getting the balance between the agency to move things forward and start to get some traction, but also taking time to listen, understand and support our people, because they’re all going to be in a completely different place.”

With the future uncertain for many, there will be plenty of opportunities for the few who adopt a resilient approach in the near future, both with regards to internal and external innovation.

To find out more about surviving disruption and building a resilient future we’ve put together some interesting articles on the subject.