28 May BLOG #5 Check the pulse in these 5 business areas to ensure you’re leveraging the new normal
Don’t let your car run out of fuel!
So, by now you’ve read the previous 4 steps and the related suggestions to kick-ass communication, empowering engagement, powerful process and inclusive ideation and innovation – of course, you have waxed lyrical about them to your colleagues, hosted a virtual office party to launch them, maybe even done a TikTok or two (because you’ve become a pro during lockdown and you want to show off your skills, naturally, duh!) and you’re halfway through a mind-blowing project plan which is going to hit every single milestone… ok, ok you overachiever I see you and I’m giving you a blue-tooth high5. For the other 99.9% who may have read one or two of my blogs and who are still thinking about implementing one or two of the steps or none at all, this post is for you.
I was going to talk about ‘Safety’ in the 5th part of this series but having given it a lot of thought, I think this topic is a lot more relevant, particularly in relation to the 4 areas I’ve already outlined and in all seriousness ‘Work Safety’ is so important it deserves its own series. The research and engagement I’ve done on the 3 ‘safety’ areas I will discuss in an upcoming blog series – culture, well-being and cyber really require a lot more than 1 blog otherwise the reading time would be 27 mins and 31 seconds and let’s face it who has 10 mins to spend reading anything at the moment (actually maybe you do, but are you doing it?)
Anyway, I digress, but now you understand why this isn’t about safety!
Continuity & Consistency (a.k.a. keep swimming, one step at a time, habit, heartbeat, moving forward)
So, peeps are starting to go back to work – slowly but surely economies are opening all over the world. There are some pretty strange rules around who can and who can’t go back… for example, Switzerland is allowing sex work to resume (it’s legal there) but Boxing and Judo can’t and South Africa still aren’t allowing smoking (thank goodness gin is coming back) in any case each country to its own and we have to deal with what we are allowed to do. Wherever you are, this is another change in work dynamics that both you and your employees will have to overcome BUT this does not mean we are returning to normal, or at least what we previously understood to be normal – this is the new normal, working from the office. Now, you might not have to go back to the office but it’s more than likely that some of your extrovert colleagues are champing at the bit to get to the watercooler for what will be a sterile, 2m apart, face masked bit of goss which will mean your world of work is about to change again. So where does that leave you… well in precisely the same place. Whatever you put in place during lockdown needs to continue, consistently albeit perhaps slightly different. You see this is probably the most important point of all 5… whatever you started needs to continue and if not, in the same way, a different way but you have to communicate and lead effectively to ensure it isn’t another spike of activity in your workplace response to adversity. These peaks and troughs of response have the ability to create outstanding change but without consistency and continuity they can create mistrust, disruption, and leave you worse off than before the challenge you’re responding to.
Trust! Trust I tell you is what you have built and is the elixir you need to maintain going forward. An opportunity of this magnitude to come together, to weather the storm and see what you are made of doesn’t come along very often… in fact, the last situation that affected the globe like this was the Spanish flu in 1918. What I’m saying is don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, you’ve obviously had to do things differently over this time and they’ve most probably been out of the ordinary, some would have worked, some not – the point is… keep that attitude, commitment, and action going. Be rebellious in your response to maintaining your culture and team bond. Be relentless about improving your processes to provide the best experience to your customers. Be disruptive by allowing your employees to be creative with your resources colouring outside of your industry lines so you can solve global problems. And most of all, show your team, your customers, and your partners that you have learned from this situation, you have put the necessary, sustainable, steps in place to rise to the occasion and will continue to do so come ordinary or extraordinary.
I wish you all the very best in the next few weeks and months, it won’t all be perfect but if you make sure there is always enough fuel in your tank to keep your car going (remember that doesn’t need to be a full tank) then you will be nurturing a resilient environment with employees, customers, suppliers and partners who trust you.
Photo by MichaelGaida from Pixabay