That is the question I’m asking myself after watching a discussion featuring global financial businesses, academics, medium sized businesses and emotional intelligence global leaders all discussing their experiences.
Read on and consider whether or not your business has truly evolved. I’d love to know your thoughts….
One global financial services company spoke about how they pivoted quickly to move their business to home working as the pandemic hit. There was no ‘pandemic game plan’ to follow. They ensured their staff had the equipment they needed to do their jobs from home but looking back, they felt they could have done more to ensure the feeling of wellbeing and connection.
All the other representatives agreed – their organisations did the same. Logistically it was relatively easy to send equipment to staff homes. They also shared and agreed the following:
Virtual working amplified good AND poor leaders. They noticed good leaders, leaned into what different support their teams needed individually. They gave ownership and support to their teams to enable them to take responsibility to get their jobs done without micro management. Cohesion and trust thrived leading to strong, innovative positivity. However, bad leaders continued to operate exactly the same as they did pre-pandemic leading to isolation, pressure, fear, anxiety, distrust and disconnection within poor leaders’ teams.
I wonder, will any behaviour impact training be offered to those ‘poor‘ leaders to see the shadows they currently cast and give them the tools to change that shadow ?
The pandemic brought an air of ‘rip the band aid off’ and just do it. Implementing ways to build a psychosocial safe environment remotely where teams felt valued and safe sharing ideas lead to strong trust and cohesion where everyone thrived. Ideas were tried and tweaked by collaboration with all parties.
With Covid restrictions lifted, the panel shared what their businesses had learned from their teams to evolve effectively in this new era:
- Place of work should be decided at a local team level based on whether work requires concentration, collaboration or connection not set globally and will be fluid.
- Collaborating with all staff on what they need to do their jobs and exploration together on how this would fit with the business is critical.
- Collective onboarding of new joiners enabled a community of support to be built delivering a feeling of belonging, connection and feeling valued.
- Leaders need to think about the shadow they cast on their team by their behaviours.
- Work needs to be judged on contribution not on how ‘busy’ someone is.
- See staff as individuals not a ‘resource’ nor ‘asset’
A member of the academic panel shared their thoughts on The Great Reflection:
- What do businesses want to retain on the other side? Connections with family?, trust staff to work where they want to by judging them on their contributions not hours in the office?
- If businesses are going to revert to pre-pandemic modus operandi – why?
- It’s clear hiring has increased, but so has burnout. Organisations must have measures in place to prevent burnout not manage it once it’s happened.
- Many staff will reflect on where they are, where they want to be – will they remain where they don’t feel connected and valued?
As the discussion concluded, I found myself reflecting on what has really changed? What lessons will really be learned? How many will revert to old ways ‘just because that’s how they’ve always done it’?
Time will tell…..
ISO45003, the international guidelines on psychosafety in the workplace, was released in the Summer of 2021 – mid-pandemic when workplaces had many diverse guises.
Is the time now right for all organisations to ensure the positive wellbeing of their people regardless of where their workplace is?
Not a ‘tick box’ mental health first aider course but a combination of options to give a selection of tools to ensure all leaders and teams thrive maybe comprising some/all of the following:
- Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing – proactive – teaching over 50 self-care tools.
- How does your behaviours impact those around you – analysis and development?
- Making better connections through self-awareness
- Building self-empowerment for you and your teams
- 360 degree risk assessment
- Finding your why
So, has your company evolved? What new learning will be retained and implemented into operational DNA?
One thing is very clear to me. Regardless of what organisations do, we all have the ability to control our own wellbeing to build our resilience to enable us to be top of our game.