Christophe Weller, CEO & Founder COS: “For businesses, the post-pandemic period will be the occasion to a reset-oriented strategy”
“After the unique experience of last year, we feel that the continuing trend for our business this year must combine these 3 major elements: people, processes and technology,” Christophe Weller, CEO & Founder COS told The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“For businesses, the post-pandemic period will be the occasion to a reset-oriented strategy. I guess that life and decisions are like a strong river and it’s sometimes difficult to change a river’s natural flow and direction. We feel that the more subtle changes will provide a steadier platform for business going forward and not create too much disruption or ambiguity to our team.”
What do you think will be the main business drivers for business growth in your company in 2021?
After the unique experience of last year, we feel that the continuing trend for our business this year must combine these 3 major elements: people, processes and technology.
People are the core value of the company and although in 2020 we have experienced the “online” work more than we have ever imagined, with the right processes and technology, we managed to keep our meetings, have an regular work flow and still plan and strategize for 2021, this is why we will be focusing on these 3 elements, hoping to have soon all the employees back in the office in a safe environment.
Also, a very important thing that we have learnt through the 2020 experience is the value of creativity and adaptability in everything that we do. This has now become a two-way initiative as more and more of our existing clients look to us for smarter ways to manage their office space whilst maintaining an inspirational workplace for people to start to come back to. This applies to our own office and teams of course.
Technology plays a major part in this as the efficient links to the office and people working from home becomes the norm so the integration of cutting-edge technology with a warmer, home-like office environment becomes the priority. Our philosophy is around building strong trust and relationships that begins within our team and then will effectively spread out externally to our customers and partners.
Will we assist to a Great Reset-oriented strategy in business or returning to business-as-usual?
For businesses, the post-pandemic period will be the occasion to a reset-oriented strategy.
I guess that life and decisions are like a strong river and it’s sometimes difficult to change a river’s natural flow and direction. We feel that the more subtle changes will provide a steadier platform for business going forward and not create too much disruption or ambiguity to our team. It is important for us that everyone feels safe and comfortable within a new workplace environment and confident that the company is continually adopting new strategies and ideas.
What is the flag-ship project of 2020 in your company?
We consider that Cluj-Napoca is a city of innovation with a remarkable growth rate and Stables project came naturally, as a support to the local business environment. For these reasons, we also relocated the COS Showroom from Cluj-Napoca in Stables. It was a strategic decision, both in terms of space and location, as well as an observation point of people dynamics and different expectations that they have from their workspace. We are always looking to develop projects with a higher degree of customization for our clients.
Stables is a new concept of serviced offices, a premium co-working space that was opened in September 2020, in the heart of Cluj-Napoca, right inside the former Imperial Stables.
What kind of workspace culture & values is to be consolidated in your company in 2021?
For our team cohesion to remain strong, we will invest in employee’s competence skills, aiming that every member of our group would feel like they are competent enough to contribute to the team goal in the first place. Adequate trainings that helps the team to accomplish their job duties and to evolve, are a priority, this is how our employees are more likely to enjoy their time in the workplace if they fit in with the company culture, which impacts retention and engagement rates.
What is a manager’s role and skills in order to maintain and enhance a team’s cohesion?
Hiring the best talent for your business needs is a must for long-term success, but as soon as you have the right people in the right roles, it’s time to take it a step further, your next job as a manager is turn these individuals into a group that truly works together by building team cohesion. Team cohesion occurs when a group of individuals feels connected and driven to achieve a common goal. This comes from respecting one another, trust each other, support each other, and work with the team in mind. While cohesive teams are often made up of people with diverse talents from different backgrounds, what ties them all together is a strong sense of identity drawn from the organization itself. Team cohesion doesn’t always happen right away. It’s typically the result of purposeful actions taken by managers to facilitate great group dynamics. As a Manager I’m responsible for providing a solid foundation that allows my teams to develop. Initiating group activities can be a great way to build the empathy and respect that’s needed for a successful team to function. As your employees interact with each other and get to know each other beyond their roles, group cohesion will rise.
What kind of skills and capabilities need to be improved in your company / team in 2021?
As touched on earlier, one of the key skills that everyone will need to adopt is Emotional Intelligence. Having strong empathy with those people around you are a must, in order to ensure that we maintain the respect and social balance within the team. The old style of motivation or basic incentives does not work so well as more and more people are looking for engagement and a family orientation to inspire them into the workplace. We will inject more fun elements into our learning and business goals to create a spirit and purpose that is measurable rather than hopeful.
Employers have found that work from home isn’t half bad, after all. On the contrary, remote work has had a positive effect on productivity and reduced recurring expenses both for employers and employees. Therefore, for this year we are sticking to remote work or more flexible work weeks.
This new workplace reality changes once again the employee training and development landscape. Employee soft skills remain relevant, as always. Another employee skill that has risen to prominence as a courtesy of 2020, time management is essential for remote and in-house teams alike. Since one employee failing to deliver in time can create a domino effect of confusion, stress and further delays, time management skills are not to be looked down upon as elementary or a no-brainer.
In term of general business & teams’ core-values, which are your 3 power words for 2021?
As a general conclusion of the last year and looking forward to getting back on track, the 3 power words that lead our activity in 2021 are: Work-life balance, Teamwork, Adaptability.