As a world we are transitioning
in many facets of our lives where the outcomes remain unknown. This is perhaps
the first time in historical memory that as global collective we are facing a
future that is not clear and where change is certainly being thrust upon us.
To address the current
period of uncertainty it is important to have “resilience”. The Oxford dictionary
defines resilient as springing back, of being buoyant. This is a quality that I
encourage everyone – myself included to embrace at this time.
As some of us work
from home, and others go out to provide needed services, and others have
received news of lay off or termination from their places of work resilience is
necessary. The short- and longer-term future in the current period of changes that
are emerging have yet to manifest.
One of the tenants to
value is to leave over thinking behind and settle into the unknown. Not an easy
thing to do at the best of times. The working landscape will be different when
this current situation has run its course. Those who are able to spring back
and demonstrate resilience will be in a better position to create and move on
to what is next.
As someone in a leadership role or someone who oversees leaders
in your organization are you taking the necessary steps to safeguard that those
who report to you are leveraging their own capacity for the better good of all?
Are you doing that for yourself as well?
Organizations may have people in leadership roles where the following
An articulated purpose that is shared amongst
the individuals that are being worked with;
Clear understanding of the power and dynamics
that each leader has too work with at a formal and informal level;
Vested understanding of the roles and systems in
place for the direct reports involved.
Spending time and energy on learning the latest leadership
development concepts and models is tempting. However, the real work may be
engaging in your own leadership development. In other words, use our own tool-kit
to identify our own leadership challenges. In doing so you are in a better
position to develop the leaders around you.
What actions are you taking around leadership development in
Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition –
The emphasis is on the individual to maintain her or his own mental health. In this era of working remotely from home the cost to the well being of individuals has been high. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada did collaborate on a survey back in May 2020 focusing on the impact of working alone and in isolation was having on individuals.
More than 20 % of respondents indicated feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Over 24 % of respondents indicated that their consumption of alcohol had increased significantly. A further 20 % indicated they were feeling depressed.
The survey results are almost 5 months old now. With increasing media attention on the uncertainty of the future it would be interesting to have a follow-up study to determine the changes to the indicators at this point in time.
Tips on CAMH website for well being include breathing, exercising and being kind.
The question to be asked is what steps are employers taking to assist workers with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or depression?
For many of the people the constant stress and turmoil over the past several months is starting to show up in the erosion of relationships with others. Those others may be co-workers, family, friends, spouses, business partners, in short anyone that as an individual you are interacting with.
To counteract additional stress factors of loss of trust in those relationships that are important to you it is essential to begin to address personal behaviour and note where integrity or congruence are beginning to erode. An example may be who are you avoiding because you no longer feel they are trustworthy.
Having identified the who and the behaviour it is then time to begin the process of rebuilding that trust. Begin being open to learning form others. Clearly communicate your position or belief and indicate that it may change based on new information that comes to you. Demonstrate respect for the opinions of others. Your behaviour and words matter. Be prepared to apologize when necessary. We are going to make mistakes – own it and indicate your desire to move forward.
What actions have you taken to maintain trust in your relationships as a stress prevention measure?
A definition of endurance – is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. This period of uncertainty is currently challenging the economic and social frameworks that most people, whatever their line of work, are familiar with.
At this juncture many companies are in the process of streamlining their operational activities. That includes closures of facilities including another round of workers receiving lay off notices or reduced hours of work. The salaries of workers are also being cut.
As the present situation continues to unfold – endurance is an absolute necessity. Now is the time to continue to preserve through the adverse conditions.
It is the time when staying power is required to sort through the remnants of what remains as building blocks for what is emerging and has yet to become apparent. It is the time when individuals and the general society in which we live must gather our collective strength and continue despite the fatigue, stress, and ever-present uncertainty.
Awhile ago I posted about burnout indicating some of the symptoms of what is now officially noted as a disease. I have added to the piece by noting that the same self care aspects apply to maintaining strong mental health. Research indicates that the treatment recovery period for burnout and stress factors leading to a mental health concerns take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 years with the average period being 6 to 9 months.
Following is a short list of strategies that address the conditions and promote well being:
Develop a list of self-care processes that may include journaling, meditation, massage, yoga, reading, music, mindfulness, stretching, tai chi, dancing, and breath techniques.
Assess weekly where you are at in following through on the strategies you have chosen.
Adjust your list as needed for the upcoming week.
Detect early signs of deteriorating health then do something about it.
Make a point of identifying what burnout looks like for you (anger, frustration, exhaustion, etc.).
When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help, delegate tasks, or reset priorities.
Economic Volatility – Changes in the patterns of conducting business, the impact of less
travel, the changes to the retail and small business landscape are just some of
the dynamics that point to a critical adjustment in economic terms within
Canada and the world. The old rules no longer apply and the new rules if
any are not clear.
Expectations for Stellar Performance from Employees –
Employees and managers alike are expected to be plugged in and tuned into work
for far longer than the standard workday.
Add to the mix childcare and the dynamics of both parents working from
home – the stress levels have increased significantly. Concern over what work
will look like in the short term while managing constant change are mounting.
Conflict between Work and Personal Time – The boundary
between work and personal time is blurry at best. Today there may be even fewer
distinctions than before.
Marie-Helene Sakowski, People & Business Change, email@example.com.
We are in a paradigm shift such that all of our systems and
values are being examined. As such it is imperative that as individual’s we
find ways to stay happy, healthy, productive, and focused in what is for the
most part largely uncharted territory.
With the level of uncertainty that is currently present
defining what will serve a business and provide a level of consistency is the
task at hand. The current marketplace conditions for many businesses could be
described as stagnant.
The time is ripe for questioning assumptions, behaviors,
beliefs and processes. Finding a way to engage and re-structure is imperative.
Suggestions to focus the discussion and begin the change process follow.
what is actual in the operation of the business.
measurement tools to the forefront.
within the sphere of influence you have and focus on attainable daily tasks.
your communication is understandably at every level of the organization.
back and clarify as often as is necessary ensuring everyone is on the same wavelength.
Changes occur with action. Keep
the momentum moving. Build on your wins and take the time to celebrate each of
your successes along the way.
For many of the 4
billion people around the globe who are now working from home, or practicing personal
distancing and having contact only with the people they live with or those who
are providing essential services it has been a period of 4 – 6 weeks.
Having had the
breakdown – it is time to embrace having multiple breakthroughs. Some
businesses have done this in retooling manufacturing lines to produce various
products including hand sanitizers, masks, ventilators to name a few items.
The question becomes
what breakthroughs are waiting to come forth in terms of new dynamics in work
and life? Now I am referring
to a breakthrough by the definition of overcoming
something and having an achievement.
One area of breakthroughs will involve
food services. Another will involve bricks and mortar offices and retail areas.
Travel and tourism industries will be revised. Trucking and railway transportation
of goods for import and export will be different. Growth and distribution of
food stuffs will be impacted. Greater emphasis on local will become prevalent.
The list goes on.
What areas has your business model
looked at in terms of causing a breakthrough?
A definition of
endurance – is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite
fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. This period of uncertainty is
currently challenging the economic and social frameworks that most people, whatever
their line of work, are familiar with.
At this juncture many
companies are in the process of streamlining their operational activities. That
includes temporary closures of facilities including another round of workers
receiving lay off notices or reduced hours of work. The salaries of workers are
also being cut.
stepped in are providing assistance that is being rolled out as quickly as
possible. As the present situation continues to unfold – endurance is an
absolute necessity. Now is the time to continue to preserve through the adverse
It is the time when staying power is required
to sort through the remnants of what remains as building blocks for what is
emerging and has yet to become apparent. It is the time when individuals and
the general society in which we live must gather our collective strength and
continue despite the fatigue, stress, and ever-present uncertainty.
How are you as an employer, business owner or manager addressing
the current transition? Are you finding
new ways of leveraging technology to stay afloat? Is your business in one of
the sectors that has been impacted such as travel, hospitality and service? Do
you have clarity about the type of influence you have over the business, and the
changing dynamics of this time period?
Most employers and managers would state that they have a
strong influence overall within the business they are in. Given that every business
is undergoing tremendous transition what actions are you taking to manage the
turbulent waters that all businesses are currently facing?
Do you emulate the type of behaviour and culture
you want to see around you? Are you a
strong proponent for having employee’s views and feedback be a part of your
daily operational routines?
Are you open to constructive criticism that
leads to doing things differently over the next several weeks and months?
Are you engaging your employees for feedback on
improving working dynamics?
businesses are changing now. The question becomes how are you revitalizing
Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change &
Transition Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org