Xenonex specialise in simplifying the complex issues that our clients face in order to unearth solutions. In this article we look at the longer-term challenges that Covid has meant for our world of work and what we can do about them.
March 2020. It all started with a bit of wartime spirit – ‘we’re all in this together and we will make it work’. After all it is human nature to want to come together in adversity, tapping into our basic need to survive and support one another through challenging times.
Indeed, since March, many organisations reported a strengthening of their people for measures such as wellbeing and engagement. Something positive really did come from something negative. People felt supported and valued in a way that many had not felt for a long time. Managers took the time to ‘check-in’ with team members as human beings and showed genuine interest in all things related to our lives and circumstances.
Covid wasn’t going to beat us, and the necessary changes – transitioning to working from home, proving we can home-school whilst at the same time growing our own vegetables – became our purpose.
It was early spring; the sun was shining and this didn’t feel too bad. We can do this!
Now let’s roll the clock forward to the present day. Despite some sense of normality back in early summer we are now facing a new and more embedded form of this disease in our organisations. One which I have described as ‘Covid Fatigue Syndrome’ and this is what it looks like:
Little to look forward to
Cancelled social events
Reductions in freedoms
…and probably an overwhelming feeling of ‘When will it ever end’?
In many of my recent conversations with clients, execs and senior leaders from all sectors and industries this has come as a bit of a surprise to them. The initial highs from pivoting businesses are long gone, the adaptation of roles to take on more responsibility has now happened with fewer colleagues around to share the load with.
Some organisations have reverted back to type with the main focus back on the ‘task list’ and are now less focussed on their people…and yet the climate continues to get tougher with the impact being felt at every level. Despite the promise of a vaccine, organisations and leaders are now looking more towards the medium term and are finding that they’re running out of steam.
So what can we do to help ourselves and our people get through this next phase together? Here are some enlightening observations that we would like to share:
- Re-define what success looks like for you in this new world. What got you this far, may need to evolve. What changes have you made to your life? To what extent are these positive, helpful changes or not? One client recently described it to me as ‘I don’t work from home, I now live at work’.
- Be mindful of ‘seeing the person behind the role’. Refocus on individuals as human beings and not as roles. ‘Ask to learn’ and then ‘listen to really understand’. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to feel really listened to.
- Show vulnerability and reach out – nobody is the finished article. Talk as much as you can with someone that you trust about the challenges you are facing. Each one of us will be having our own internal struggles so start a conversation and normalise what’s going on.
- Focus on what really matters –ultimately this is what you can control through this period – your thoughts, your behaviours, your actions, your words – practice mind-management techniques.
- Focus on the positives – positive psychology recommends focussing on 3 positive thoughts to counter-act every one negative thought we have.
- Keep exercising and socialising as much as possible.
- Reposition your timescales – plan for this as the new normal for the next 12 months – a longer time frame will help manage your expectations and you’ll feel less like you’re on a rollercoaster.
- If you are overwhelmed and feel like things are too much then talk to a professional – a Counsellor, Doctor or Coach.
At Xenonex we specialise in supporting organisations and leaders at every level to see the person behind the role. We help leaders to gain real insight into their colleague’s motivations, values and beliefs. We encourage them to identify and play to their strengths in order to be happier, more fulfilled and more engaged at work.
We also train, develop and accredit internal and external coaches to get the best out of the clients that they work with. How? By utilising a coaching approach of asking questions to raise awareness and providing feedback on what you see, hear and feel when you with that individual.
For some of you that may mean really beginning to see each person for the very first time.
Try it, it’s enlightening.
For our range of support for Organisations and Leaders, please visit our website www.xenonex.co.uk
Xenonex. Brilliance in results-driven leadership and coaching.