How often in the past few weeks have you found your checking the phone anxiety get the better of you – under normal circumstance, a lifestyle change would’ve had been in order. But given the COVID-19 pandemic threat rampant – the anxiety and concern is well placed.
But here is another line of inquiry, how can we convert this well-placed concern into well-directed strategy and purpose driven management – as remote working becomes part of our daily routine.
The fundamental threat COVID-19 has posed to workplace culture is fragmentation and an undue increase in the uncertainty in business, management and service delivery cycle.
Employees spread across countries and geographies having to make hard decision both at home and while working from home as the biological emergency pans out.
Uncertainty in conducting business as an organization whose key functional and thinking elements are now under extraordinary pressure due to lockdowns and coping with undue increase in network traffic.
Adapt a structure and stick with it
Now is not the time to run managerial experiments – chalk a plan, populate a routine activity sheet and let your team run with it. The tinkering and fine-tuning can come later. Let the fixed workplan ethic and cleverly placed change of pace work activities (as a pivot) become the comfort and constant via which your employees can stay productive in otherwise uncertain conditions.
Keep the bunch tight but don’t overload
As human mind processes information, a key concern of lack of change will start affecting the attention span of your workforce. Ensuring adequate digital resource allocation and built-in contingencies can alleviate such a situation. Build a culture of care which is responsive and still aides by the workplace ethos demonstrated by your organization.
Workforce protection and proactive communication
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst – have crisis and escalation scenarios at-hand and analysed by management and analysts to mount a coherent and proactive response – in case, things get worse. Similarly, human resource management and official communication to highlight ongoing efforts can go a long way to persuade your workforce that their organization in putting forward each step, with positive intent.
Stress testing your resources
In-continuation with the above scenario, stress test the various organizational functional and service delivery pipelines for possible failures and anomalies which may arise from extraordinary situations, coming together. All the preparation and communication would be of little use, if a financial stress test goes south and causes your organization to take desperate measures. Identify, prepare and enable solution delivery for such conditions.
Get past the cultural challenges
Thing are hard as it is, but they may get even tougher and hostile. One aspect which will allow your organization to grow would depend on the resilience of its individuals and the structure you provide to them under COVID-19 pandemic. Flexibility, adaptation and allowing room for creative thought to set in and inspire people are qualities which would succeed under this extraordinary situation.
More importantly, setup a task force (if you haven’t already) which is allowing the points highlighted above to breathe, assimilate and grow. It would mean that the best of your talent would be in the right frame of mind to drive customer engagement (they are still out there) and the ones which are under pressure, get time to catch their breathe.