“It’s not what happens in life, but what you do about it.”
Just like after 9-11, things will never be the same. Everything we took for granted has shifted in a matter of days or weeks with the emergence of C-19.
- The place we called work felt unsafe.
- The job we once felt secure in, now felt uncertain.
- Our home lives and professional lives became blurred.
- The way we worked and got things done changed overnight as we scrambled to operate in a fully distributed workplace.
Whether this turbulent time lasts weeks or months, we, as individuals and organizations, need to prepare ourselves for a new normal. But saying this and acting accordingly are two different things, especially when we are still grieving what was and worrying about what will be.
David Kessler, the world’s foremost expert on grief, says that the best way to navigate this change is to accept it and plan for the future. While it’s normal to focus on the past and fear the future, this could hinder your organization’s ability to rebound from C-19. Read more here.
So ready yourself for a new normal and be prepared to answer these questions:
- Physical and psychological safety of teams: What precautions and actions will you take to reassure employees that your workspace is safe to return to? (Think mental health check-ins, a gradual return to work, robots cleaning/maintaining our workspace, etc.)
- Flexible work: What flexibility will you provide on where, when and how your employees work (because they are not giving this up any time soon)?
- Workplace policy and practices: How will you evolve workplace policies and practices to attract and retain talent in the long term (e.g., working from home, flex work, paid time off, leaves of absence, STD/LTD)?
- Employee experience: How will you redesign to fit your business and employee needs (e.g., virtual hiring/onboarding, chatbots, focus on re-skilling/cross-training, live dashboards)?
- Accommodation: How will you balance business recovery with the need to support and accommodate employees impacted by C-19?
- Productivity: How will you evolve your team’s operating system to deliver on shifting priorities?
- Shifting employee needs: How will you respect your employees “right to disconnect” in an evolving digital environment?
The more you and your executive team can accept the new normal and understand what it means for building a stronger company, the more likely you will lead the pack against competitors for talent in the longer term.