Insights created to navigate the operational challenges which COVID presents
Whilst infectious diseases are not new to the world, a pandemic of this nature and aggression is. This is perhaps the first-time many of us would have experienced such drastic times where isolation and the notion of scarcity of essential resources is looming.
The scale and intensity of the pandemic has naturally caused uncertainty and upheaval, particularly for expatriates who are currently away from their loved ones, and whilst leaders are busy protecting their employees, whilst evoking their business continuity plans, it is essential that during testing times, leaders are mindful of the psychological impact which such change brings.
Leaders must lead with compassion, and consider the following:
Mental Health Awareness:
The ability to cope in a crisis varies across people, therefore check-in with your teams regularly and adapt your style accordingly. Stop to think about how the pandemic might trigger mental health challenges, along with considering colleagues who are already suffering.
Employee Assistance Programmes:
The growing impact of the pandemic will continue to impair people’s ability to cope, driving mixed emotions, it is therefore important to create a sense of calm and an environment where people can talk, if you have not already done so you may wish to consider an employee assistance programme.
In the event that remote working becomes a reality for a prolonged period, the notion of feeling disconnected and confined may impact your team, therefore it is important to stay digitally connected and communicate regularly.
Think about the balance of email versus talking and perhaps even adopting a virtual buddy system.
It is essential to equip your leaders and management teams with the tools and training to have conversations with people that make them feel secure, ensuring the language used in communication creates a sense of unity.
Whilst the inflated news and social media reports act as a source of information, they also contribute to creating instability and fear for job security. It is important for leaders to be transparent and sensitive to such emotions.
Manging Virtual Models for Prolonger Periods:
Those away from family may be considering repatriating during the isolation period to be with loved ones, which may result in a longer time away from the office, further we are seeing commentary externally of the virus lingering into 2021, therefore businesses need to be prepared to manage the longevity and virtual working model for a prolonged period
Conduct a regular temperature check on your company’s morale, whilst helping your people to regulate stress and process information effectively address talent gaps and prove to safeguard future such pandemics.
Whilst the concept of working remotely can create a sense of liberation, the emotion soon turns to one of segregation, leading to varying reactions. Leaders and management teams must ensure they lead with compassion, regularly communicating and providing a sense of unity and security where possible.
COOs are challenged with measuring productivity for the benefit of the employee and the organisation and in doing so maintaining momentum and continuity for the business.