Back to Normal? Bringing the Uncertainty Along

As South Carolina and states around the country slowly reopens to go back to work, ICAP has noticed a few things we’re bringing back with us. We’d like to share those observations and share some solutions below.

Team members and employees are likely bringing lots of uncertainty back into the workplace

This is not the first-time team members and employees will bring anxiety or fear into the workplace. It may be one of the only times it happens in this context: a large-scale economic, global shutdown. Here’s how you can alleviate some of that stress and anxiety (you won’t totally be able to alleviate it):

Address the elephant in the room head on, do some check-ins

  • Have discussions about fears / insecurities / doubts individually, in small groups, or as a team. Letting everyone share how they’re feeling may seem superfluous. Our argument is with the economic statistics, the death rate particularly in African American communities, a supreme lack of normalcy for an extended period of time, among other things, team members and employees have likely been struck by some level of fear or uncertainty on some level. Having check-ins about those moments allows team members and employees to collectively breathe deeper and rebuild a little bit of trust and confidence they might have lost during this process.

Communicate about health and safety procedures in the office before anyone enters

  • This feels pretty self-explanatory. Returning to work is really exciting, but this reset / pandemic will linger over the workplace for a while. Embrace it and communicate the plan before re-entry.

Keep leading

  • This moment has continually required a tremendous amount from senior and executive leadership. Many have created plans to send the staff home, done financial models, layoff or furlough plans, or seen large portions of their business dissolve overnight. Many businesses have developed pivots or strategies to adjust and cope with remote work or a fully virtual workflow.
  • Leaders have shifted their focus from yearly, bi-annual, and quarterly metrics to daily, weekly, and monthly metrics to really identify what’s important. This has helped leaders, team members, and employees remain focused on productivity and execution. While helpful, it might be time to expand the focus out again.
  • Team members or employees might need an answer to the question “where are we? Where do we go from here?” It’s ok if the answer is “I don’t know.” As things continue to reopen, establishing a vision for what the next few weeks and months will look or will need to look like will be important.

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