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Revisiting Change Management in COVID-19

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

In the last several months, we have all experienced enormous changes in how we’re living and working. We often consider managing change as something we apply to a new initiative, a major reorganization, or a change in ownership.
However, change management practices apply just as well in the situation we are facing with adjusting to our evolving normal with COVID-19.

The number one concern companies have reported, beyond the economic concerns, is how to engage people with all the shifts in the workplace.

What’s become clearer to all of us is that life is not likely to return to the pre-COVID days anytime in the near future. In terms of the workplace, this is involving long-term changes to how workplaces operate including team members having children at home needing attention and having a range of safety concerns that didn’t exist in the past.

Many workplaces have a significant number of people working off-site and others working very differently even if they are on-site. Communication practices have become more challenging in ensuring that team members feel like part of a cohesive team.

COVID creates a need for strategies that assist work teams in maintaining engagement, but often in new ways. 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 meaningful ways.

Over time, it can be important to create ways for your teams to share their common experience, since most of your people are going through a number of stressors at a time when they are more isolated. It’s also a good time to take stock of how recent events have improved life in some ways. While the changes in lifestyle are not new anymore, they still present ongoing challenges in people’s personal and work lives which should be addressed.

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. Here are a few suggestions:

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. Here are a few suggestions:

• For employees working virtually, brainstorm challenges and strategies to address gaps in collaboration and teamwork
• Encourage various work teams to discuss how changes in their lifestyle are impacting their work, and develop strategies for addressing them. The antidote for stress is to acknowledge it and provide additional supports to offset the situation.
• For a list of questions that help teams connect, see this posting: https://leanleadershipcenter.com/making-a-stronger-connection-with-your-team/

For more information on ways to engage your team at this time, contact me here or call (708)-362-1664.

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