Employers and employees are transitioning into the next phase of COVID uncertainty, and we can be assured that the next several months will be anything but normal. It is important to think about this next phase as an exploration of what is working today, and resist trying to rush back to pre-COVID “normal.”
To enter this next phase productively, it’s useful to take stock of: what worked; what didn’t; what you may want to preserve, and what you’d like to “stand for” on the other side of this. Core values and culture are stabilizers for many organizations. Leveraging and enhancing your culture anew through this next phase will pay great dividends.
It will be just as important to foster psychological safety, along with physical safety, to have an engaged culture. Because of the experiences of the past several months, each of us will come back different, based on how we experienced the pandemic and racial injustice. It’s worthwhile to think about how your views may have changed, and to consider how others are processing their personal challenges.
It will be different. Many businesses are resetting and are not sure what their new organizations will look like. Correspondingly, employees are coming back with altered perceptions of work and potentially their self-identities. These new and divergent viewpoints need to be converged respectfully. Doing this requires conversations that evoke understanding, through questioning, active empathy and validation.
To help leaders take on this psychological transition, we are offering a solution that helps leaders create new and meaningful conversations with employees. These conversations will provide platforms for employee voices to understand their experiences, emotions, concerns and new expectations.
We call our approach Listen, Acknowledge, Learn. This approach helps leaders reframe mindsets so they can learn about employees and meet them where they are. This will set the stage for better ongoing conversations and a more trusting environment. If you would like to learn more about this, let us know.