C-Suite Intelligence 26th June 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service provides news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions address the exceptional challenges they are facing.

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Help employees manage re-entry anxiety
Harvard Business Review
  1. Make employees’ well-being your top priority. Employees want reassurance that their companies will put their people first whenever possible, especially in difficult times. Companies must continue demonstrating commitment to their values during the re-entry phase.
  2. Share accurate, timely, and transparent information. A pattern of open two-way communication is especially critical as employers take actions to deal with the pandemic’s economic impact. Organisations that have kept employees abreast of business performance and engaged in ongoing dialogue with their people will be better prepared for difficult conversations.
  3. Take swift action to implement recommended public health measures. Employees need to know how these measures are being implemented, what the timeline is, and how the measures will be monitored and enforced. They also need assurance that steps are being taken to update protocols and processes as the situation evolves.
  4. Train leaders, managers, and colleagues on how to support employees. People managers will need to take greater responsibility for employees’ well-being.
  5. Offer flexibility. Our large-scale work-from-home experiment has shown that it is possible to get work done remotely on a variety of schedules that best accommodate people’s preferred working hours and personal commitments. Employers can expect pressure to maintain this flexibility, particularly from team members caring for children or sick loved ones. 

How to win with digital marketplaces
McKinsey & Company
This article provides an overview of the strategic and operating questions brands should address when deciding whether to enter digital marketplaces; and sets out the key trends driving their continued growth, including:
  • Shifting market dynamics. Higher consumer expectations for personalisation are fuelling the emergence of more niche, consumer-specific sites.
  • Marketplace consolidation. As more players target similar consumer groups the market seems likely to consolidate.
  • More value-added service offerings (and potential revenue streams). The proliferation of digital marketplaces and the growing reliance on sellers to build scale have increased competition to attract both consumers and sellers.
  • Supporting ecosystem of tech enablement. Tech providers such as Shopify support both brands and retailers to maximise sales and marketplace potential.
How to sustain your organisation’s culture when everyone is remote
MIT Sloan Management Review
Culture is the holistic and somewhat mysterious force that guides actions and interactions in the workplace. When people return to work, the workplace itself will be physically transformed to shield employees from one another and enforce new hygiene standards. How can managers ensure that valued aspects of the culture endure?
A time of disruption presents an opportunity to remind employees of aspects of the organisation’s past - founding ideals, stories, and commitments - that have shaped both its culture (how we get work done and think about our work) and are central to its identity (who we are as a company). Building up these core elements of culture can remind employees of the organisation’s strengths and help them navigate tough times.
CEO leadership during strategic transformation
To spur concerted transformation efforts at scale, the CEO must also delegate ownership to a group of sub-leaders who share his or her commitment to carrying out the transformation.

Establishing clear expectations and boundaries is psychologically, as well as operationally, essential to a company pursuing a strategic transformation. As employees see what feels familiar and safe being changed, they may shrink from full participation.

Building a small group of respected and committed leaders to guide people in new directions, reinforce the shared mission, and model the necessary behavioural norms builds employee confidence, encourages participation, and strengthens organisational cohesion.

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