Dealing with COVID-19 and Managing Change

Not only has COVID-19 disrupt our lives, it has also played havoc in causing friction among teams and how work is accomplished.  How leaders manage their employees’ may provoke disengagement or inspire mindfulness and resilience. 

Under normal conditions, according to Po Chi Wu, Ph.D., friction is unavoidable in the workplace but how we manage it makes the difference.  As more teams perform work in remote, virtual silos, here are some symptoms and warning signs of friction caused by the COVID-19 disruptions:

  1. Inconsistent routines and rituals 
  2. Anger
  3. Work pace becomes slow and sluggish

Turning Friction into Good Energy

The need for continuity, not only for business, is also important for our personal lives to help manage the hardship of COVID-19.  As managers, here are three tips to help your employees to adapt to a new norm of working virtually: 

  • Provide opportunities for human interactions.  When employees are used to working collectively in a shared workspace, performing independently may feel disconnected.  Use meeting technology such as ZOOM and GOOGLE HANGOUT to help your employees connect by video.
  • Help your employees adapt. Review the work routines and determine how you can help them adapt to COVID-19 disruptions.  By helping your team to establish new work and ritual routines, they will help define a new norm. 
  • Sponsor unity and resilience.  Fear, Loss and grief consume our thoughts. Play a role in helping your team be become more resilient and mindful instead of projecting their pain and anger. Think about how you can coalesce your team to be mindful and rise above fear? 

About the Author:

Renzie Richardson is a HR Consultant and the owner of BHFL Group.  She has contract experience with CDC and FEMA, and she helps organizations to support employees during disaster events.

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