Leaders who participated in two recent AWESOME events brought their own experiences and insights to a discussion facilitated by Deloitte. The March 17th Cross-Industry Collaboration focused on 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝒐𝒕 𝑫𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑪𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒊𝒏 and the March 19th 𝘓𝘐𝘎𝘏𝘛𝘕𝘐𝘕𝘎 Round addressed 𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝑵𝑶𝑾 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵𝑬𝑿𝑻 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑺𝒖𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒚 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔.
Participants in the AWESOME Cross-Industry Collaboration focused on an area of supply chain that’s growing in importance for products such as agricultural produce, seafood, frozen food, photographic film, chemicals, and pharmaceutical drugs (including COVID vaccines). Defined by our partner Deloitte as “An unbroken, uninterrupted, temperature-controlled supply chain / series of storage and distribution activities, which maintain a given temperature range that help extend and ensure the integrity of cool cargo products defined through their perishability and their being on the move towards the end user,” the cold chain raises key considerations such as temperature, transit time, and shipment size.
Deloitte leaders Susan Yang, Alejandra Mac Farland, and Wanda Johnson defined the challenges presented by cold chain logistics. They then described several initiative areas that are working towards a future-proof cold chain logistics model. AWESOME leaders discussed some of the challenges they’ve faced and what steps they’ve found to be effective.
The LIGHTNING Round, facilitated by Deloitte’s Meagan Robinson, gave participants the opportunity to compare what “dilemmas and decisions” are surfacing as we complete one year since the pandemic began and turn our attention to what happens next. Issues ranged from keeping teams motivated, relieving zoom fatigue, finding ways for senior team members and new team members to interact, and developing a schedule with the optimal combination of working from home and in the office.
Here are some of the issues that were named and the solutions that leaders are using to address them:
- Experiencing fatigue – people have been working under extraordinary circumstances for a long time.
- The proliferation of virtual meetings – not only among team members but also responding to many customers who want much more contact than previously – which can cut into time to get work done.
Suggestions: Shorten the meetings. Don’t use the entire hour if it’s not necessary.
Decide who is really critical to be on the call.
Declare “no-Zoom Fridays.”
Switch to calls instead of virtual meetings sometimes. Suggest people can “walk and talk.”
- Increased flow of work into off-work time – people having trouble separating the two.
Lead by example. Letting people on the team know you’re taking a break to do something else.
Ask people to track their time spent on work when they usually would not be in the office; talk about that with them
- Finding ways to replace the informal interactions that take place when people are in the same office; offering some ways to socialize.
Hold a talent show – people submit a video with whatever they define as a “talent.”
Hold a virtual wine-tasting
Schedule 15 minutes once a week when employees sign up to “teach” something they’ve learned how to do. (Can be serious or fun.)
Introduce virtual games: For team members who like video games, there’s conmeego, a platform that lets up to six players interact while they play a video game. Here are more suggestions for teambuilding virtual activities.
- Onboarding new employees when everyone is working remotely. Learning curves can be longer in this environment.
Add several employees at the time instead of one at a time. Make sure they get to know each other.
Understand that a new employee requires special attention to feel part of the team. Invite them to sit in on meetings, even when not necessary for their role, so they have an opportunity to learn and see the team in action
Invite a new employee to message you (their boss) if they don’t understand a term.
- Setting up a schedule that incorporates flexibility but still makes sense for the business.
Many organizations are still working on this. No one structure will work for every organization.
No one concept will work for everyone within an organization.
Currently, some organizations are still all remote. Others are allowing employees into the office if they “sign up.”
Some are planning to return employees in “waves” – not all at once.
People will need sufficient notice so they can re-adjust after making adjustments during the pandemic.
Still need to find ways for newer employees to learn from experienced people – may not happen as naturally as when they are in the same office.
The next AWESOME LIGHTNING Round will take place on Friday, April 23 – 12 noon-12:45 pm Central.