The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Inexperience leads to problems and opportunities post-COVID
Probably no experience in our lifetime so completely changed what we do and how we think as the COVID-19 pandemic. We still deal with the after effects in healthcare, business management, technology, views of the workplace, and socialization.
Before COVID we probably never even considered or understood the concept of “supply chain.” We took for granted that needed materials and equipment would be there when needed until they were not. We also expected that the contacts and employees we were used to dealing with to answer questions, process claims, and make the mid-level decisions would be there until they were not.
The transition to a “new normal” has not been without its stumbling blocks and mistakes and we do not yet know what that normal might look like. Here, though, are some of the things we do know.
• Massive numbers of employees lost left a gap that will take time to fill.
One subject not often raised is the impact of experience on just getting things done. If you were used to dealing with Mary in claims and Mary is no longer there the next person might not know the procedure to follow or might develop an entirely new process. She might also be working from home and unable to access needed information. Replacing a worker is not just a matter of moving someone new into a desk. This might be one reason why among other things employers have reported being “ghosted” by new employees who might recognize early on that the job is not what they expected or that it is time to move on again until they feel comfortable in the position. Many jobs are left unfilled or are filled by persons completely inexperienced in the work they are now doing. It makes sense that it will take some time before they catch up and, meanwhile, businesses and companies are changing the ways they are doing business anyway. On March 17, 2022, U.S. News magazine published an article, “COVID-19 Did a Number
on the Workforce >> and the Workplace,” with the subtitle “Many workplace norms were upended during the pandemic, some permanently…” At that time the author noted the economy had four million more jobs than workers to fill them and conversely “the recovery in the labor market has been historic…” We began to value the worker more.
• Some processes and procedures changed. Some did not. This makes completion of some tasks easier and some more difficult. Some processes that have al