Before 2020, people were focused on doing business with the least amount of interpersonal communication and at the fastest pace possible. Consumers and organizations alike were so busy focusing on the next task, nobody was concerned with making connections. Once citizens were forced to stay home, limit interactions, and slow down, there was a shift. People want human connection. People need human connection. So as states and businesses start to open up, doing business the “old fashioned way” might be best to address the needs of interpersonal communication and slowing down.
Connection is a human need. In the process of making operations easy, smooth, and efficient, organizations have lost the human connection piece. Gone are the days where you knew the person who actually made or created the products you use every day. Now, people use self-checkout to avoid saying hello and goodbye to the cashier. After the pandemic however, the need for human connection is ever-present. During the pandemic, the Mayo Clinic even published a piece about maintaining connection while distancing. Even if this seems to apply to personal relationships, it also applies to consumer-business relationships. People want to be connected to the companies they support. They want to know the wives, husbands, moms, and dads producing their food, clothing, and even furniture. This is doing business the “old fashioned way.” In addition to interpersonal communication, quarantine also taught us about the pace of our lives.
During quarantine, especially at the beginning, the word “cancelled” was redundant everywhere. Concerts, dances, weddings, and work parties: everything was cancelled. This taught people about expectation and disappointment, but it also taught everyone about slowing down. In our society, people are focused on working, being involved in their community, having a social life, staying fit, etc. Even if you enjoy being busy, this is quite the schedule for the average person to handle. Once many of those items were removed, people started slowing down, and they liked it. You can adopt this slowdown in your business by allowing employees time to process changes, build relationships with customers, and create innovative ways to improve the company.
Whether your organization is a startup company or a 5th generation family business, you can implement old-fashioned business strategies to improve your processes in 2021. Worrying about efficiency should be second to building interpersonal relationships with your customers, as well as slowing down for both them and your employees.
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