As we enter another week in quarantine we've all figured out how to use zoom and have adapted the ability to wear shorts with a sport coat. We're tired of hearing strategies of how to work from home and we certainly aren't delighted when receiving cold calls from vendors "just checking up on us". Many people have lost jobs, others their businesses, and some, their lives. There simply is no silver lining.
As we traverse another day in the bunker, unsure if it's Saturday or Monday, little wins are the thing that get us through each day: a puzzle completed, a milestone on the peloton, our homemade sourdough afloat.
With the new normal now fully operational and a sensitivity for employee well-being, it's time for companies to help secure some little wins.
We've seen a transition in workforce directives as many quantitative measures have been altered or put on hold. A shift to behavioral modeling to enhance qualitative skills seems to be happening. This, in an effort to help employees build a sustainable skillset while core function may be temporarily altered.
These qualitative models are driven by learning. Formulated correctly, a path can be created to help employees learn every day through a variety of skill-building exercises.
At the end of a trying day fraught with financial challenges and bad news, knowledge-based achievement provides a much-needed boost of dopamine.
We all navigate the precept of "what keeps us up at night". Knowing there are things we cannot control leaves us feeling uncertain (and at times helpless). While there is little that can be done to solve the world's problems between you and the ceiling at 2am, when you get out of bed and jump into the issue, pressure dissipates.
Problems may pass but inaction doesn't benefit our self-control. So, if we can dig into a situation at work that poses difficulty, we may find that we are making progress. There is a great sense of achievement in creating solutions where once problems seemed insurmountable. It is the achievement of problem solving that brings us all a little closer to control in these uncertain times.
Even the worst micro-managers have adapted to act in the best interest of employee well-being. Customers who may have been over-demanding in the past have developed an ability to express forgiveness. Strangers we pass on the street seem to have a longing for connection that relays empathy where otherwise there may have been apathy.
People we work with are starting to tell stories. We are learning about one another. We'll look back on these times with a fair amount of dread but we'll emerge from them with a better appreciation of one another.
Little Wins... that's what matters right now!
To learn something, to help solve a problem, to make a new friend.
The Next Chapter
As days fold into one another, we do our best to live in the moment, but gathering perspective is extraordinarily important. So where do we go from here?
I'd like to think that the jobs, businesses and lives lost to COVID19 will not permit the luxury of returning to "business as usual". With respect to the greater human population, it is incumbent upon businesses worldwide to tackle the future of work with compassion.
"That but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We'd jump the life to come" - William Shakespeare
Originally posted on Dave's Weekly Thought blog.
SHRM is here to help CEOs, policymakers, HR professionals, and workers navigate what’s ahead with the latest COVID-19 research, insights, and practical tools. Together, we will get through this and build the new future of work. Learn more at shrm.org/backtowork.