As the industry gets back up to speed, Purple Cubed founder Jane Sunley offers insights for business leaders and outlines a new partnership with Travel Weekly

Many businesses are excited – though admittedly somewhat stressed – to be gearing up for the return of travel and the fuller return of their teams. So much has changed. Not least the attitudes, aspirations and ways people want to work, having had a year to reflect, review and realign their opinions. Many will have learned new skills, some will have taken on new levels of responsibility and contribution via volunteering, others will have sunk into the depths of despair. How do you know?

Understanding your people and acting accordingly will be a major advantage as we emerge from this pandemic. All manner of industries have realised just how desirable our people are. They’re organised and great in customer-facing roles. They’re resilient, good listeners, effective, efficient and positive. They collaborate and communicate well, making great colleagues. Many have honed their leadership skills from a relatively early age. As a result, e-commerce, logistics, retail, professional services and many others want them and will target them.

Managing change

This is a time for bold, transparent, consistent communication throughout the organisation. If your people are aligned in their purpose and thinking, it’s clearly far easier to engage them in the journey. They’re also far more likely to help keep things on track and raise any concerns along the way. Yet many of them will currently be feeling uncertain following the past year. It’s therefore vital that every single team member is reassured through a clear understanding of what you’re all about; what you stand for, where you’re going and how you’ll get there as a team. For these messages to be authentic, they need to also address the needs and viewpoints of your people.

However, with so much change over the past year, how can you be sure of getting this once in a lifetime opportunity to realign right? Get it wrong and respect, trust and engagement are lost; it’s not long before people decide to move on, lost to you and maybe to the industry as a whole.

The only way is to consult your people; to treat them as the adult individuals they are and understand how they’re thinking and feeling. Now, more than ever before, they need the opportunity to have their say, to be able to play their valuable part in shaping the future. If you get this right, your loyal, engaged and motivated colleagues will support you and your business into the future.

It starts with a fact find

You may be feeling as though you have neither the time nor the energy to start doing large scale surveying and – Heaven forbid – deal with complex outcomes. Lack of time, operational pressures, potentially stirring up ‘a can of worms’ and being inundated with action plans there are neither the time nor resources to deliver, can put organisations off doing a fact find at this precarious time. As a result, they run the risk of making critical decisions without the right information.

Unless you’re carrying out a full-scale strategic review, the key is to keep it simple. You can do this by asking a small number of ‘killer’ questions that will result in the sort of outcomes that are necessary right now and possible to implement because you’re not doing one of those massive ‘staff satisfaction’ or ‘employee engagement’ surveys people talk about all the time. Then prioritise the outcomes into quick wins and longer-term goals.

Communicate your plan, being clear about the stuff they’ve brought up that you’re not going to change and explaining why.

The easy way to do it

Of course, we’ve been thinking about how we can help. So, we teamed up with Travel Weekly and built a low-cost, super-fast, drama-free survey that results in tailored, prioritised, workable recommendations. There’s clear, no-nonsense reporting and even clever digital sentiment analysis to ensure no comment is missed, without having to read and digest pages of data. This is less about the technology (even though it’s great and works on any device) and more about expertise so outcomes are insightful, practical and manageable. Check it out here.

It’s easy to talk about change and being agile, it’s another thing to make it happen in practice. Many organisations are not geared up to handle change yet making sure yours is ready to deal with the revolution that’s going on around you because you fully understand it, will enable you to exploit it.

Organisations that who grasp the nettle now will stand a far better chance of truly reawakening the power of their people and leading through to a successful future.

Purple Cubed Back to Business 2The Back to Business survey will provide businesses with a clear, actionable report. Three survey packages are available, starting at £750, with each offering clear analysis with prioritised recommendations. Find out more here.