Coronavirus Decision Flowchart
One tool that has commonly been used throughout modern day management is the Decision Tree or Flowchart. This tool is especially useful when looking to find an answer or potential answers to complex issues. The first time I came across this was at school using decision tree analysis to work out the probability of an event happening. As with everything at school, nothing ever seemed to have a real-world relationship at the time.
The second time I came across decision tree analysis was when I was studying my Accountancy exams. This made the subject more interesting, but certainly not earth shifting. Our professional body, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), has now come up with the flowchart to deal with some complex decision around how businesses can cope with, and proactively manage, their immediate business environment amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Diagram takes a generic view of a business and looks to take the user through the possible scenarios, breaking down each decision into a Yes or No response. It’s a very simple and easy to use tool, but also very effective, which is why we have decided to share this with you.
Things to Think About When Using the Flowchart
1) Make sure you know your numbers. It’s important to at least understand your potential drop in revenue expected and when this is likely to occur. You also need to look at where your fixed costs stop, and variable costs continue to understand where costs may be able to be cut out.
2) Complete a cash flow forecast based on at least three scenarios so that you can see where your cash is likely to be lowest and where you may need cash injections. This will be useful to communicate to outside investors and banks.
3) Know your business’ break-even point. This is not as easy as it looks to calculate, but if you know your numbers, you can calculate the break-even point more accurately.
4) Check with your bank if you can make use of the Government loan scheme (CBILS) to cover short term cash flow. You need to know that if you need it, the funding is going to be available, even if you do not need it right now.
5) Work out what the short-term demand may be on your goods or services and match this to your workforce availability. You should already have the demand figures from your revenue calculations.
6) Only decide to furlough employees if they have run out of work and you are not able to pay them. HMRC will be auditing businesses retrospectively to make sure the furlough rules have been applied correctly. There are likely to be fierce penalties for those companies found to be acting improperly.
7) Ensure that communications are regular and informative, but as concise as possible. You will likely need at least two different forms of communication for the employees who are furloughed and those that are still working. Video conferencing, telephone conferencing and e-mail can all be utilised for remote workers.
8) Review annual leave requirements for each employee and manage this around furlough periods to avoid too much accrued holiday building up. Employees are now able to carry over four weeks of the current year’s leave over the next two holiday years. The remaining 1.6 weeks can be carried over for one year with agreement between employer and employee.
9) Think about homeworking and security of data and safety of employees. Have a policy for homeworkers to guide them as to how you expect them to operate. Make sure that you look at seating positions, equipment and general health and safety measures to ensure you protect the employee and ensure that the Company is carrying out its duty under the Health and Safety Act.
10) Keep all lines of communication open. It is more important than ever to keep communicating with remote staff either by video conference or by phone.
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Stay safe and keep well!