It’s six months since the UK locked down. Autumn knocks on the door. The economy convulses and continues to contract. Covid-19 threatens a second wave. The Government is insisting companies return to the office. But are we ready to deal with this? Where are we when it comes to resilience?
Your workforce has performed admirably under the circumstances. Regrettably you’ve had to lay some off. But you’ve managed the transition to remote working, settled tensions between the furloughed and non. Together, you’re managing. And you’ve learned valuable lessons, such as you can end up in a science fiction movie and be among the survivors.
So what now? What’s the approach you need to take in order to ride out the next two quarters which all signs suggest will be rough? What’s the steer captain / leadership team / boss? How can you go from being survivors to heroes and give this movie called 2020 a happy ending?
First off, celebrate making it this far, if you haven’t done so already. Celebration and shared gratitude fosters togetherness and boosts morale. 22nd September marks six months since the UK locked down if you need an excuse. Which you don’t.
Next, thoroughly – and I mean thoroughly – attend to your people’s wellbeing. They’re your greatest asset, and it’s crucial they’re in good mental and physical shape for whatever is coming next. Yet people are good at masking their issues until it’s too late. So keep talking and checking in on them. Check out the tips from our wellbeing forum if you want ideas.
Moving to second base: Consolidate the integration. What? Remember the Kübler Ross Change Curve? You’re near the end of one (yay!) but if it doesn’t seem like closure, you’d be wise to review and consolidate all the positive changes you and your people have made these past months. Stop, start and continue would be a great tool for a team discussion on this. But why stop there? Fortune favours the bold. Which means aiming for third base: Renewal.
Yes, this is arguably the time to be proactive, renew and refresh, so you’re in the best position to tackle whatever is coming next. The country has had six months of reacting to Covid-19. And it’s likely you’ll need to stay largely reactive to tackle the risks and threats yet to come. But it’s not a resourceful position. You know it. Your people know it. It says ‘I’m under stress’ and impairs an individual, team, or organisation from performing with confidence.
So be proactive and launch a conversation about how and what to renew. Perhaps what success will look like by spring 2021, one year after Covid-19 struck? If your existing strategy no longer seems fit for purpose, or half your staff have forgotten it, it’s time to remind them of it and better still give them the creative freedom to refresh it, or the parts most relevant now.
For many companies a major theme of this discussion will focus on building greater resilience – the ability to respond and adapt to risks, and keep going in the face of adversity. There are lots of ways to do this and many authoritative guides to refer to.
But you know the best way to help your people and thus your company to become more resilient? It’s by empowering them – giving them a greater say and control over you and their company’s destiny. It’s doing what Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start With Why’ and TED speaker, says – getting out the way as a leader and accepting you don’t know all the answers. And offering your teams the guidance, tools, information, and opportunities to influence how things should be done to best achieve the companies’ key objectives and goals. This brings purpose and employee voice together in a new dynamic supported by engaging managers and a leadership team acting with integrity.
Organisations with high levels of self-organisation and management are inherently more agile and resilient. They also have high levels of employee engagement, because their people have a greater say in the business and control over its direction.
So launch a conversation about this today and help your people help you help the company become the more agile, resilient, engaged organisation it has potential to be for these tumultuous times of ours. And be circumspect of any calls from Government or others about returning to work etc. You and your people are the best authorities on what you should do for your employees, customers and stakeholders, and nobody else.
Need tools, inspiration? ClearVoice Comms are experts in helping you empower your employees to have more say and develop strategies leading to a more positive working culture with high levels of employee engagement. We offer training for leaders and managers. And our next online forum is on the tools for self-management and organisation – they could be just what you need. To find out more, just get in touch.
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At ClearVoice Comms, we are experts in delivering employee engagement and communication strategies that inspire your people and transform your business. We influence change through the power of communication to improve your company’s performance. For more information or help with building resilience and empowering your people, call or email us today and let us show you how the power of communication can change your business.