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Five skills that will keep your business thriving after COVID-19

By Aditya Chakravarty

Bricks-and-mortar shops have established work-from-home setups, the use of technology has skyrocketed and some companies have found new and innovative ways of doing business. As a result, new skills are essential as the world recovers.

According to HSBC’s Navigator Resilience: Building back better report, nearly three quarters of Canadian businesses expect some form of flexible work arrangements to become standard for the foreseeable future. Businesses have been reimagining what the physical office space might look like post-pandemic. A recent Gartner survey says 82% of employers will allow staff to work remotely some of the time, and 47% say they’ll allow work from home all the time.

Regardless of where you’re located while you work, sought-after skills will continue to be in demand once the pandemic passes. Here are five that can help your business thrive once we turn our focus to recovery.

Adaptability and problem solving
Having employees who have adapted and are able to find solutions to common problems on their own is something that can help keep your business operating smoothly. Businesses are relying on employees who can be left to their own devices to get the job done in a remote setting. It’s not necessarily about the hours each employee puts in every day, but rather what outputs are being achieved. With resourceful people on your team who have adapted, remain flexible and manage time effectively, your company will be in good hands.

The digital economy
Technology has transformed the way companies operate by allowing them to remain agile and innovative. High-speed internet and video conferencing tools are expected to become further embedded as standard ways of working even when we’re fully into the recovery phase. Digital adoption has also enabled companies to revamp their business models, in turn driving customers to e-platforms. 

Leading through influence
You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader in your organization. Empowering employees through reassuring conversations, praise and by providing clear mandates gives them ownership over their work and a sense of accomplishment. This in turn will create “can-do” attitudes among your staff as they support each other, proving leadership is more than a title.

Staying connected 
The remote office space has forced us to rely heavily on technology in order to communicate with co-workers and customers. It’s challenged us to get creative when building relationships, having difficult conversations and even when getting someone’s immediate attention. Finding and retaining employees who can communicate with clarity and empathy will help you build trust and stronger relationships among your team while maintaining productivity from afar.

Keeping sustainability and accessibility top of mind
Being more environmentally and socially responsible is no longer optional for businesses; customers, regulators and investors alike have come to expect it. Embedding sustainable practices into daily operations will also resonate with your team members, who will feel they’re making a valuable difference in carving a path towards a net zero future. In 2020 we saw a drop in global greenhouse gas emissions fuelled by the pandemic; however, as economic activity resumes, so too will the rise of carbon emissions. In order to build back better, we need to be more resourceful and innovative, and must prioritize sustainability now and in the future.

According to the World Health Organization, 15% of the world’s population (an estimated 1.1 billion people) experience some form of disability or are neurodivergent. Now more than ever, businesses need to make sure their products, services and technology are accessible for customers and employees and keep inclusion top of mind.  

Aditya Chakravarty is Vice President and Head of Customer Experience & Propositions for Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC Bank Canada. 

As an employer committed to diversity and inclusion, we encourage all Persons with Disabilities to self-identify in their applications, and invite you to reach out to Dianne Calma, our Diversity Recruitment Relationship Manager at dianne.calma@hsbc.ca for support during the selection process.

Photo: Viktoria Slowikowska, Pexels. 

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