We have entered into a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the initial ‘crisis response’ and business disruption has begun to settle down. Now, more than ever, it’s important to start looking to the future, and initiating conversations around how we can effectively set up our businesses and our people to thrive.
There has never been a more important time to have effective communication strategies in place. Establishing an operating rhythm ensures your people are feeling part of the team, are valued and are supported—this needs to include all of your employees.
While holistic strategies and approaches are important, we can’t forget to narrow down the focus on our employees on an individualistic level. Asking ‘R U OK’ is more important than ever. By being aware of what is going on for your team members and creating a safe place for them to speak up, you can then look at ways in which you can assist them. If people are experiencing feelings of disconnection and loneliness, then you can look at adopting strategies to overcome this.
Creating this safe place starts with our leaders—it is important for our leaders to be showing their vulnerability, fears and concerns. By doing so your people and your teams will take your lead and feel safe to voice their own concerns.
To maintain connection:
- Communicate and then communicate some more!;
- Develop strategies to include all your employees; those that have been stood down as well as those employees who are remaining in the workplace;
- Ask – R U OK?
When your people have a sense of connection and alignment with the company’s core purpose, mission and values, it creates a feeling of belonging to something worthwhile and important.
As a result of COVID-19, the way we are doing business has drastically changed, both internally and externally. And like many businesses, this includes variations in our key focus areas.
It is important to reflect on this and make changes where needed. Now is the time to ensure your people are aligned and onboard with this new way of operating.
To maintain alignment:
- One of the most critical elements of employee engagement is continued sense of connection and alignment with the company’s core purpose, mission and values;
- Conduct company and team alignment sessions with your teams;
- Review priorities considering COVID-19 and capture changes to business operations and what is required of your people & cascade changes as needed.
Not only do people need to feel connected during these challenging and uncertain times, they also need to have a sense of hope and optimism for the future. It is very easy to be ‘stuck in the now’ and feel powerless about what the future holds—and their role in it.
By continuing to run your normal 'business as usual' (BAU) employee lifecycle processes, your team will feel that there is a sense of normality and that the business is confident about the future as well. Having that sense of achievement will go a long way to help people feel connected and have a sense of purpose.
To stay focused:
- Keeping up the ‘BAU’ employee lifecycle processes will give a sense of normality and optimism for the future
- Effective 1:1’s, feedback, coaching, focusing on development areas can give a sense of optimism as they are future focused as well as delving into what is happening right now
- Review achievement goals to give sense of purpose and achievement
A-HA are passionate about creating human friendly workplaces: virtually, in-person or shared space. While we know the current pandemic has been volatile for business, maintaining connection, alignment and focus for your business and employees is vital to the success of your business during this time.
Need help building strategies, processes and development for your business- Get in touch. Or hey, just need a chat? We’re keen!