In the last several weeks, we have all experienced enormous changes in how we’re living and working. We often consider change management as something we apply to a new initiative, an ERP implementation, or a change in ownership. However, change management practices apply just as well in the situation we are facing with COVID-19.
As a change management challenge, this is an opportune time to provide ways for work communities, including the many people who are working from home, to connect in new ways.
Along these lines, I was moved by a recent posting by Renee Smith, the leader of A Human Workplace, who provides some examples for where to start:
• Connect with others and process your experience in small groups.
• Discuss practical tactics for building human connection while isolated and stressed.
• Discover hope for a cultural shift based on love, community, and human-kindness.
Consider in the next several weeks how you might try new ways for your teams to share their common experience. Most of your people are going through a number of stressors at a time when they are the most isolated. So, as you have your next call, take some time for people to share how their lives are changing as their working conditions have changed.
One important change management practice is to ensure people have a way to speak about their experience of stressful situations. I often think of this as steam in a pot that needs to be vented. Studies have shown that if employees are stressed and are not speaking about their concerns, they can become increasingly distracted.
Providing ways for your teams to discuss their common experiences is not just a nice thing to do, it will actually help them become more relaxed and able to focus.
Times like these always help us remember the connectivity of all people. Make this a time that you take the extra step to help your teams connect to their shared experience.