Public health concerns and your business model

There’s an old adage that goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’m sure we’ve all heard this at one time or another. This may have been a valuable management watchword in the past, but in the 21st century, this attitude could lead your organization in the wrong direction.

Many areas require constant attention and need to be fixed before things are broken. A few areas that come to mind are information technology, data security upgrades, employee policies, new supply chains, and sustainable product design, among others.

The topic I’d like to discuss today is your employee policies for the ever-changing landscape of managing public health issues.

Public health has been brought to the forefront of management’s attention by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to be aware that environmental public health concerns have been with us for centuries and we have had to adapt.

At one point, I overheard a conversation from an elementary school teacher who mentioned that it was harder to find students who didn’t have respiratory issues than to find students who had respiratory issues. By respiratory concerns, I mean asthma and other considerations that can affect children. Similarly, if children are affected, their parents who are members of our teams are also affected. The COVID world has highlighted the connection between public health considerations around children’s education and health and their parents’ ability to be consistent team members. Working from home has also highlighted the importance of parents being able to juggle their schedules and those of their children.

In this context, I believe that the lessons learned over the past two years should not be forgotten or placed in a rarely accessed electronic file. Most organizations have and will implement some sort of hybrid environment suited to their type of work.

In organizations with a large customer-facing model, such as restaurants, stores, and bakeries, even with the relaxation of masking guidelines, these organizations appear to have chosen to maintain a masking protocol. It may be that the team members of these organizations were given the choice to mask themselves or not. Unfortunately, due to the ebb and flow of what we have observed from COVID outbreaks across the country, there appear to be indicators of rising infection rates.

Therefore, when we have a break from the COVID outbreaks, leadership teams need to address all of the elements that have been designed on the fly over the past two years to determine which of them are strong and what the results are. of our best thinking to be implemented consistently. way. Consider whether certain team members need to be physically present.

There have been stories of organizations developing software, so the teams never physically met to produce their product, but the companies had a successful business. It is not a model that can be used by everyone; however, it’s time for everyone to assess where you are on the hybrid working ladder and how fast you can move up or down that ladder based on the well-being of your team members and clients.

Cornell Wright is a consultant, author and business coach. His firm, The Parker Wright Group, located in New Haven, consults with clients in the areas of executive team decision-making, talent optimization through a business partnership relationship with Predictive Index, and training on equity and inclusion, diversity and organizational improvement. He can be reached at 203-521-6748 or

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