Speed to competency in “The New Normal”
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Is Low Performance the New Normal?
The Covid-19 lockdown fuelled the panic buying of amongst other things, toilet rolls and technology.
In the case of the latter, specifically the hardware (laptops) that previously office-based workers needed to continue their work, but now from their home rather than the office. The over-stretched IT teams have largely stood down amid lots of genuinely well-deserved (virtual) backslapping for a job well done.
LinkedIn, other social media, and the TV is awash with new to working from home employees gushing about how much they love the freedom that working from home affords them. That and the fact that they work so much harder and are therefore so much more productive. Soothsayers and vested interest parties are heard proclaiming that the office is dead, and long live working from home.
Operational leadership has ridden the initial wave of confusion and disruption and settled into what is generally regarded as “the new normal”. But during this settling down period more and more senior managers have had the time and data to reflect on what impact this employee migration has had on operational performance. It would appear as the mists clear all might not be as rosy in the working from home garden as the media would have us believe.
Many (not all I am sure) firms are reporting that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are slipping and when this happens revenue & profits fall and/or CSAT drops. Whilst wailing “what do you expect, there is a global pandemic on” will cut it for a few months, increasingly, shareholders, business leaders and customers will want management to come up with solutions that ensure performance levels returned to pre-C-19 levels ASAP.
Many firms are reporting falling KPIs, customer wait times are rising, complaints are rising, sales conversion is falling, first call resolution is dropping, compliance is shaky. And so, the list goes on.
But what is causing this performance fade? Is it because employers are forced to recruit, on-board, induct and train employees virtually?
Could it be that these “Covid-Time Recruits” (CTR) are dragging performance down?