No one is entirely sure how long we will still be in the clutches of the virus. There are no firm dates or outcomes and no end in sight regarding a vaccine. But life continues and lockdowns will be lifted, so how do we continue after the crisis subsides? There are a few factors that will need to be considered and addressed for people to be able to get back to being fully functional and focussed on their work.
The consequences of trauma
There is no universal response to the events happening around the globe at the moment. Your people will all have different perspectives or have been affected in ways others might not understand. Our emotional stability has collectively been shaken and recognising this is imperative to recovery. For some people, going back to the new normal means conquering crippling anxiety when leaving home. Some may now be facing a future without a partner or parent.
By being open to communicating our experiences and perspectives we can work through the trauma we may have experienced and build closer connections with our teams. The conversations will no doubt be tough, but enabling people to heal by sharing can help enormously.
Mental health aid
The best thing we could probably do for ourselves and our teams is to encourage seeking help. Never has mental health been under more pressure than right now. Luckily there are numerous resources online that can help to clarify the issues we are experiencing as well as provide advice on how we can tackle the problems.
From online counselling to reading, exercising to health plans, they’re freely available and could make a big difference. Be open to discussing what your people need and try to help them find a way to get back up to speed. Recovery means productivity.
Let ‘normal’ evolve
We’ve all seen how quickly we can adapt to difficult circumstances. Working remotely, isolation and disruption has been part of the equation for a while now. And yet, we’re still moving forward and keeping the wheels turning. This is an ideal opportunity to use what we’ve learnt.
Instead of rushing back to the old ways, let’s investigate and experience how we could have and give more freedom, spend less time, cost and energy on commuting and encourage greater communication by not being physically present or together. The benefits could outweigh the inconvenience in ways we may never have predicted. Keep the options fluid for as long as possible and make changes wherever it seems appropriate and beneficial.
Build on the trust
By now there should be significant proof that you can trust each other to get stuff done without having to be in the same building. Build on that trust. Use that trust as a bridge to better relationships, closer collaboration and more honest feedback. Isn’t it wonderful that this crisis has shown us that accountability doesn’t rely on proximity? That we work because we’re motivated and don’t have to be micromanaged to achieve results.
Appreciate, articulate and grow that trust to shape your future teams. Don’t waste the opportunity presented from this crisis.
As we move forward into a time where change will still be a constant in our lives, there is hope. There are ways to cope with the mental and physical challenges we may face. By giving ourselves and our colleagues the space and time to create mental and physical safety, we can grow and might even come out the other side with a richer perspective on life. Empathy and trust can move mountains during times like these.
Do you need help leading the way back into a working routine with your teams? Then reach out to Azkua for guidance and solutions.
Lynette Croxford. Guest author and Azkua Network Partner