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COVID-19: Redeploying Staff

  • Blog
  • 27 March 2020

The Effects of Coronavirus on Businesses

The coronavirus has spread across the global at an alarming rate. It has caused rifts in our everyday working and personal lives. The world economy has fallen sharply and a global recession looms. Governments are putting extraordinary measures in place to try to support the economy and their people. The virus will affect many businesses; and unfortunately, some may not recover.

Many however, are able to adapt and continue to trade but have had to make significant changes in a very short space of time in order to do so. This has put a huge strain on their resources and as profits may have also plummeted; tough decisions have had to be made surrounding the workforce. Depending on where you are in the world, there may be financial assistance offered from Government to keep staff on during this period of uncertainty. If this isn’t the case in your location, or the help offered still doesn’t go far enough, alternative steps will have to be taken.


Redeployment of Staff

Rather than considering redundancy immediately, many organisations across the globe are redeploying staff into different areas of the business. For instance, if new sales have dried up, a salesperson could be redeployed into customer services role. This will support the customers who may also be impacted. Buyers in the retail industry could focus on online merchandise rather than physical shop merchandise and retail marketing teams can turn their attention to support and increase online sales.


Benefits of Redeployment

The redeployment of staff is often overlooked when companies are restructuring. There is a lack of knowledge of individual talents and skills outside of the sphere of their normal job role. It is perceived as a massive task to work out where and how best to redeploy staff.

Today, action is needed almost immediately. HR teams are offering many staff members the option to redeploy into other roles, or to change their current responsibilities.

There are benefits to redeploying staff. Firstly, staff members are kept on and can have some security during this period of uncertainty. Secondly, the organisational brand reputation is retained. Thirdly, new skills and talents may emerge and lastly, loyalty towards the company increases. However, some staff members may not feel they can move away from their current job role and/or responsibilities, or the business may not have a need for additional support in other areas.


Essential Planning for Businesses

Future proofing your organisation is essential. Moving a sales person into customer services could result in an increase of long-term customers and repeat business. By increasing your customer services team, you could show your customers your dedication to their needs and your brand reputation increases. Often during times of crisis individuals and customers will remember where they were looked after and where they were let down.

Where you cannot redeploy employees, then scaling back to ensure business continuity may be necessary. It is important to understand fully the help provided from your Government, and all of your legal obligations and options. If you require further support, please contact one of our specialist local teams.

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