2020 has been a year where Enterprise leaders have taken extreme measures to keep their businesses operational. However, entering 2021, they need to mold and adjust their management strategy and watch out for management pitfalls that can stop their incremental growth.
It is the first time after the great recession of 2008 that enterprise has seen this much a dramatic change in its operational strategy. In 2020, enterprise leaders have been forced to make tough calls to survive the COVID-19 crisis while simultaneously revising their business strategy. This has led to enterprises repeatedly falling for short-term issues, leaving a bad impression on their workforce.
Going forward, enterprise leaders need to rethink their goals and the approaches they need to survive the effects of the pandemic. As Prateek Dayal, CSO of Aquiliz, puts it, “Rather than rushing adoption, business leaders need to take the time to understand their motivations as much as their fears, as they continue to embark on an increasingly digitized journey. This also means walking the walk and ensuring that your team is equipped with the right skills to adapt.”
In 2021, enterprise leaders must closely assess their organization’s posture across all departments and keep an eye on to avoid the management pitfalls in 2021:
Over-reliance of steady productivity
The COVID-19 has forced enterprises to adopt the remote working model. In its initial days, it has enterprises achieve productivity that they have never witnessed before. But slowly, employees stuck in their homes to stop the spread of COVID-19 resented the idea, as they have to dabble with their home responsibilities alongside their work.
“Productivity has been extremely high as most employees shifted to a work environment. It should be expected that these levels are not sustainable and will probably crest soon if they haven’t already,” says Michael Szymanski, Vice President of Sales, DailyPay. He further adds, “Your staffing levels should reflect a reverse to the mean of pre-COVID productivity levels. If you don’t, you risk burning out your people who rallied to support the organization and one another.”
Therefore, enterprise leaders mustn’t expect the same productivity level in the post-pandemic era, hopefully, in 2021. “We must continue to be thoughtful about the challenges this change has made for our people. This includes flexible work schedules, ergonomics, encouraging PTO and rethinking your benefits package to help people with the challenges created by our “new normal”, adds Michael Szymanski.
Overemphasizing AI’s benefits
AI has certainly played a key role in helping enterprises tackle challenges across various departmental strategies. It has helped enterprises to secure their infrastructure by finding vulnerabilities and enabled them to develop strategies to fulfill their customer’s demands.
But, creating management strategies around AI won’t help the enterprises to flourish in 2021. “Management making strategy decisions for which technologies to deploy in the coming year should be very careful of over-reliance on AI,” says Amir Liberman, CEO, Nemsysco. He further adds, “Yes, AI can automate many operational processes to save costs and improve output. AI can even be used in certain customer facing situations. However, we must remember that customer behavior is not always logical in many cases and consequently when humans interface with purely logical systems, the results may be difficult to predict.”
Therefore, enterprises must rethink and assess the integration of AI, where relying on human decisions will be an ideal choice.
Not focusing on agility
Agile mindset has helped IT teams to collaborate with each other effectively. It has also enabled them to effectively address an issue before there’s a no turning back. Similarly, the C-suite executives of an enterprise can also implement the agile approach to effectively navigate the uncertainty.
“During periods of uncertainty, adopting an agile mindset is crucial — every business leader will know this well as we look towards a post-pandemic environment. While the past year has given every industry the much-needed breathing room to evaluate its investments, operational expenditures, and the strength of its digital infrastructures, leaders must remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to encouraging an internal culture of innovation,” asserts Prateek Dayal.
Being stuck in Battle Mode
The first lockdown has made enterprise leaders to immediately respond to the crisis management mode, where they have solely dealt with immediate problems. It was understandable that steering the ship in crisis mode would require them to make tough decisions. However, as they are slowly exiting their crisis mode, they need to develop sound strategies and plans for the long-term growth of an enterprise.
C-suite executives must collaborate with each other to effectively deal with crisis situations and make informed decisions that will help them to push the reset button on the businesses.
Not Investing in Workforce
The stringent budget and the advancement of the latest technology left enterprises no choice but to substantially decrease their workforce. Though this seems to turn in favor of most enterprises, staff still employed at an enterprise is always worried that they would be next in line. This panic can be detrimental to an enterprise in its long term growth.
Hence, enterprise leaders must take initiatives that will help their workforce to develop their skills as per the need of their enterprise. “Don’t be afraid to invest in your people — whether in the form of professional training courses, workshops, or certifications — to ensure that upskilling and skills building is intrinsic to your organization. Both a matter of mindset and ability, having a team that is collectively aligned on your organization’s innovation strategy can make all the difference.”