The cure for pandemic fatigue in your organization
Tuesday, December 08, 2020
COVID-19 cases are surging across the U.S. and in many other parts of the world. Even as the prospect of effective vaccines gets closer and closer, hospital ICUs are overfilling, leading to round after round of restrictions and shutdowns in many locations.
Nearly nine months into this, one thing is for certain: We’re tired of all of this. We want to be able to move freely — to eat in restaurants, gather at sporting events, and celebrate holidays with families. But to quote the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want — unfortunately.
From a business perspective, we need to keep our organizations focused and on track. As we approach the end of the year, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Reinforce what’s working.
We’ve learned a lot over the last 9 months. We know how to work remotely, how to stay socially distant, how to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols. Be sure to highlight actions and programs that are working and recognize those who are making this happen.
Revisit what’s not.
While we’ve been able to easily adjust in some areas, there are others where that isn’t the case. If something’s not working, stop doing it. In some cases, you may be able to revisit the situation and try a slightly altered approach. In others, you may just need to stop that action and try something totally different instead.
Stay focused on your noble purpose.
In her best-selling book “Leading with Noble Purpose,” Lisa McLeod revealed that companies that stay connected to a purpose bigger than money not only outrank their competitors in sales and profitability — they also are better able to attract, retain, and motivate talent. How effective are you at connecting what your people do to a bigger purpose that improves people’s lives? Especially in today’s environment, it’s important that your team sees the big picture of how they make a difference.
Err on the side of empathy.
Everyone’s a little cranky these days. Whenever possible, give people the benefit of the doubt. This refers to customers, suppliers, employees, and everyone else in your ecosystem. Chances are someone who isn’t their normal self is reacting to the fact that they’re not living their regular normal life. Don’t take it personally.
Keep your eyes on the future.
This, too, will pass. The next few months may be tough, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Outline the steps you need to take now to be prepared for better days ahead.
As managers, it’s important that we set the tone for the rest of the organization — to show hope, resolve, and commitment. Remember the rest of what the Rolling Stones told us: We can’t always get what we want…but if we try, we might just get what we need.
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