Reboarding – Can Be Rewarding
By Susan DeLand, DeLand Consulting
It is time for new concepts and approaches for the times we are in. We used to plan for onboarding new employees; now we should consider reboarding the staff that had to be laid off, furloughed, or have been working remotely. You were forced to close your store during the ravages of the pandemic. Some were able to run an online store remotely and some have been waiting it out. Parts of the country are beginning to cautiously open back up. You may be bringing laid-off or remote employees back to your store. You have a great opportunity to reboard your staff in a positive and supportive way. Acknowledge that these have been difficult times and are still going to be a bit rocky. Find ways to empower your staff to bond and work toward the common good.
This is also an opportunity to make changes and fix problems that existed prior to the shut-down. It is often said that crisis can open opportunities. Crisis is the disruption -- and the chaos that follows is our search for balance. Pivot is a word that has become a part of our daily vernacular. Consider the benefits of some of the changes that were either forced on us or we chose to make to survive. One that I have heard frequently is that online sales have reached heights not seen before because suddenly it was the only way people could shop and it soon became the norm. It is liable to decline somewhat, but it is doubtful that it will decline to previous levels. If this is the case for you, then you have to consider how you allocate your staff time between onsite sales and online – and how to aggressively market to both audiences.
You may have to face some tough decisions about who you bring back. Now is the time to bring back only your best team and be the best manager for your team. You have to make adjustments as well. Life will never be quite the same and all the changes you had to make to your home routine also have to be addressed. What used to be work /life balance may now become a work/life blend.
Recently, I read a great definition of resilience that offered this perspective: resilience is a combination of two components—the ability to remain the same even in the face of compelling threats and challenges -- AND the ability to change enough to survive even if the form is different. We’ve all had resilience challenges. Work, if we are fortunate enough to have it, moved into our homes. We’re juggling work, perhaps children, remote learning, partners, and space. We have had more than enough Zooming. The resilient mindset is the ability to recover from difficulties. You believe you can cope with anything, staying positive, determined – being in survival mode. What if we could do more? What if we approach the challenge with curiosity about how we might shift, adopt new thinking, and emerge with a store reimagined? It’s an opportunity to rethink the way you lead your team, rethink your store and its layout, rethink your energy and your perspective.
Want to hear more from Susan DeLand? Sign up for her MSA Retail Bootcamp workshop at MSA FORWARD VIRTUAL on Thursday, April 29! Click here to register for the conference and purchase a ticket to her workshop. (Note: Registration to the two-day conference is free for MSA institution members this year, but the two deep-dive workshops offered have a ticket fee.)
Susan DeLand is an experienced business advisor for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She is Lead Business Advisor for Goldman Sachs Babson College National 10,000 Small Businesses, as well as for the Long Beach City College 10,000 Small Businesses. Susan designs and builds business infrastructures; has extensive experience in strategic and financial planning; systems acquisition and implementation; KPI; profit analysis; marketing and strategic growth in business. Ms. DeLand works with companies to build startups and to grow established enterprises. She works in brand management and identity, product development, IP and licensing, is a certified grant writer, has Profit Mastery certification, and the author and editor of business books and biographies.