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They’re called strategic priorities.

It’s the objectives a company sets out to achieve over a defined time period that is predicated on measurable results. Every company has a long list of specific tasks that are important. Strategic priorities are the initiatives or values that are at the top of the list to get done – they are the priorities.

The concept of strategic priorities has taken on a new meaning and even a sense of urgency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the effect of the coronavirus disruption continues to fall back, companies in all industries are faced with the task of getting back to work in an environment where there seems to be no “going back to normal.”

Post-pandemic workspaces need to be rethought and revised. Managers should be aware that this is more about rearranging the office furniture, equipment or cubicle layout. The idea of offering revised working arrangements, such as remote or hybrid-location options, must take into account the needs of employees and how they can best complete their tasks.

Strategic priorities that “pivot to the people” is seen as key by many managers. What this refers to is facilitating talent management that meets the challenge of retraining employees so that they can get into synch with a firm’s strategic focus. The worst thing a manager can do is attempt the “retrain employees on the fly.” A solid plan is needed to “reskill” and/or “upskill” workers in a way that dovetails with the goals of the coming year.

The issue of retraining and retention versus a strategy of hiring new workers is a primary issue. For one thing, the cost of hiring new people is time-consuming and expensive. Furthermore, the task of imbuing new people with institutional knowledge is far more difficult than tweaking the tasks and positions of returning employees.

That’s just one example of a strategic priority thousands of company owners will be grappling with in the coming months.

Right now there is an embarrassment of riches in terms of articles and advice being published by all kinds of media entities that are doing their best to provide ideas on how best to navigate the post-pandemic transition.

The bottom line, however, is that CEOs and managers get clarity on the questions of:

“What is my company’s new direction in the post-COVID world?”

Only then can you create strategic priorities that will best serve future success.