A body without the soul is just that – a dead and lifeless lump of matter. The soul is the living and vital force in the body which enables us to perform not just our routine activities, but also often marvellous and even miraculous tasks!
Similarly, people are the soul of any Organisation – without its people, an Organisation is simply a lifeless entity!
Therefore, we must consider the Needs, Interests and Concerns of people within the Organisation, especially in stressed times such as the current situation created by the global Covid pandemic. Organisations that place due emphasis on this aspect are the ones who are likely to emerge from the shadows of the pandemic as genuine winners!
The first step in this regard is to be transparent as to the magnitude of impact that the pandemic has caused to the Organisation. Everyone is aware that the global economy has been mauled severely, and it would therefore not come as a surprise to your employees to know that their Organisation has not been spared. In fact, they will be better placed to assist in the turn-around if they are kept abreast of the situation. Trying to sweep the real extent of damage under the carpet is likely to prove counter productive, especially if you are looking to renegotiate terms with some or all employees.
Having laid out the real picture, be clear as to what you expect from each member of the team. Discuss their roles and responsibilities with them, consider their opinions and get their buy-ins into your strategy for overcoming (and transcending) the situation. This is an important step – committed employees are likely to stand by you with much more determination and focus than otherwise.
Almost everyone is going through strife – hear their problems sympathetically and see what measures the Organisation can take to relieve them at least to some extent. While the emoluments packages may be renegotiated to some extent, it may be catastrophic to indulge in mass layoffs – this may set off deep rooted feelings of insecurity even among the employees you do retain, leading to loss of commitment and productivity. This is the time we need all able-bodied men in full vigour to counter the situation – not pensive and tentative people who don’t have their hearts in the job on hand!
Do invest in providing learning opportunities to the team. There definitely is a new normal and those that ignore this are likely to face even further strife. Right from Soft Skills such as Attitude Building, Communications and Handling Pressure Situations to Hard Skills such as Technical Skills Building, investment in these areas will pay you off significantly in the long run.
Finally, the work from home (WFH) culture could be here to stay. While this could definitely be a workable model even in the medium to long run, be sensitive to personal space of the members. WFH
does not indicate that they should be available 24*7! Do provide them with adequate facilities to enable them to discharge their responsibilities better.
This is the time to instill confidence in your team – go for it! Remember – we have our hands full with the pandemic – let’s not pile on pandemonium too!