With a global pandemic in our rearview, anticipation has inevitably shifted to other potential societal transitions. 69% of Americans are concerned about entering a possible recession—more than a 20% increase from 2021. Considering the general unrest evident throughout the past couple of years, it’s only natural that individuals are now looking forward, determined to prepare themselves for what lies ahead.
In the height of the unknown, businesses must also prioritize their adaptability in order to maintain stability regardless of what they are faced with. As overwhelming as it may seem, you and your business can prepare for whatever lies ahead. Fight the urge to bunker down and make decisions defensively and instead, focus on what it takes to recession-proof your business right now. Put yourself in a position today to work offensively. You need proven methods that allow you to confidently move forward, achieving goals and thriving—not just surviving—in the midst of a pandemic, recession, or anything else that may come your way.
Here are four actions to take now in order to withstand any storm your business may face in the future.
1. Supercharge your collaboration
Collaboration is one of the most underrated aspects of business resilience. And if your team survived the recent shift to hybrid work, you probably feel you already have a solid understanding of it. But some companies treat collaboration like a nice suggestion or buzzword and aren’t capitalizing on the dynamic engine of innovation that it can be.
In fact, many companies have unknowingly developed collaboration anti-patterns, leaving them to “talk the talk” of collaboration without actually “walking the walk.” Or, in other words, teams check the boxes of what they think collaboration looks like on the surface, without actually digging deep enough to harness the limitless collaborative synergy available to them. Chances are good you’re not taking advantage of your team’s intellectual resources like you could be, and to recession-proof your business, you’ll want all the brainpower possible on your side.
Supercharge your employees’ creativity and maximize collaboration by recognizing and addressing any habitual anti-patterns that have been developed, then implementing dynamic, strategic collaboration into your workflow. There are many ways to do this, but you can start by conducting regular collaborative process audits. We also recommend developing a handful of questions to ask yourself in order to increase the accountability and reliability of these audits. This is an important first step in taking your team’s collaboration to the level necessary to deal with future challenges.
2. Shore up your business strategy
Now would be the perfect time to inspect your business strategy from the ground up, ensuring that you’re working as efficiently as possible and that there aren’t any weak links. Closely analyze all internal processes to identify opportunities to make improvements and cut unnecessary slack. Reexamine how your KPIs are being tracked, as well as what metrics are specifically being tracked to ensure that you’re maximizing company growth. This will take some effort, but strengthening the foundation of the business is well worth your time.
One valuable way to shore up your business is by investing in ways to visualize your strategy. Research consistently confirms that visuals trump text when it comes to comprehension. Make it easy for your teams to align by implementing visuals in your workflow. That way everyone can better understand team strategy, identify (and mitigate) problems faster, and improve the bottom line so your business runs like a well-oiled machine.
Visual collaboration tools can play an instrumental role in this process. Using a virtual whiteboard like Lucidspark allows your team to actively participate from anywhere in the world in real time, ensuring everyone has a voice, decreasing misunderstanding, and shortening the time it takes to align.
3. Invest in your team
In the face of a potential recession, you can expect that your employees feel concerned about the outlook of their jobs and the company as a whole. Because of this, it will be important to strategically invest in your team in effective ways.
Start by prioritizing initiatives to ensure your employees feel valued and secure. This is vital for team morale always but especially during a potentially scary time. To empower your team with confidence, communicate with team members honestly and openly about how things are going. This will increase their trust in you and the company’s overall trajectory.
As cheesy as it sounds, prioritizing team-building is also an important step to recession-proof your business. Not only does it allow co-workers to get to know each other and strengthen bonds, but once you get to know your team members well, you can better analyze each individual’s roles to capitalize on their strengths so they’re empowered to do great work for you.
One thing that can create frustration for team members is feeling lost. Creating a central hub for your team that includes a document repository, centralized communication channels, and other essential resources can help unify everyone. Having a single source of truth makes onboarding new members, aligning on specific projects, and accessing key team documents much easier.
Prioritize regular icebreakers at the beginning of meetings and plan activities often so team members can better work with one another. Adding interactive activities throughout your team meetings can also improve collaboration and communication. These can include brainstorming activities, prioritization exercises, and more.
Consider innovative ways to employees so they feel as appreciated as they are. Ensuring that team members know they’re appreciated and have a voice directly impacts workplace satisfaction and lowers turnover rates (and now is not the time to waste money on unnecessary onboarding from employee attrition). Good talent is priceless, so if you want employees to invest their time in your company, you need to invest in them first.
4. Stop wasting time
The cliche is true: time really is money. In an era when financial business security is everything, it’s undeniably important to reexamine the way your time is being spent. Even one hour in an unnecessary meeting is 60 minutes that could have been spent strengthening the business or taking a small step toward goal achievement.
There are many ways you can better optimize your workplace time. Here are just a few suggestions.
First, make documenting as you go an unbreakable habit. It is not enough to jot down a few bullet points and then attempt to interpret them later for a meeting summary. Instead, cut down on wasted time by coming prepared with an agenda, action items, and a clear path forward. Collaborate in a shared, centralized, online space that everyone has access to. Document decisions in real time while you’re collaborating. That way, at the conclusion of the meeting, everyone can jump right into their respective tasks because they don’t need to waste time asking questions and seeking context. As an added bonus, if someone misses a meeting, they can review the document and not miss a beat.
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When considering how to optimize your time, it’s also important to evaluate how well your tech is working together. Is there overlap? Is there a task that’s consistently a part of your workflow that could be automated? The pandemic forced teams to purchase software that enabled them to transition to remote work, so now is a great time to re-assess your tech stack and ensure you’re actually getting the most bang for your buck. Are there places where one tool can cover many use cases instead of having a point solution? Have you maximized your efficiency? Does your software allow integrations for data transfer between platforms? If you want to recession-proof your business, it is vital to invest in tech that works well with each other so you aren’t wasting time and money trying to fill in software gaps.
Take steps now to recession-proof your business
You want to recession-proof your business, and a visual collaboration solution like the Lucid Suite is a great way to start. With tools built in to visualize strategy and capitalize on great ideas in real time, you’ll feel confident knowing you’re getting everyone’s best in the face of the unknown.
You can also be assured that the Lucid Suite is well worth the investment. A recent study with Forrester Consulting on behalf of Lucid discovered that a composite organization using Lucid experienced payback in less than six months of purchasing the products (The Total Economic Impact™ Of The Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite, May 2023).
Plus, Lucid offers integrations with all the tech you’re already using, like Zoom, Slack, Jira, CloudApp, Confluence, Google Drive, and much more. Save time and let your software do the work for you.
Whether it’s a recession, a pandemic, or something else entirely, Lucidspark will help you take steps now to “anything-proof” your business.
Learn more about how Lucid can help you start recession-proofing your business.Go now
Lucid Software is a pioneer and leader in visual collaboration dedicated to helping teams build the future. With its products—Lucidchart, Lucidspark, and Lucidscale—teams are supported from ideation to execution and are empowered to align around a shared vision, clarify complexity, and collaborate visually, no matter where they are. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucid.co.
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