No, I’m not talking about Marmite, I’m talking about Change.
One is dark and sticky, it’s definitely an acquired taste, some people are repelled at the mere mention of it, while others can’t get enough and the other one is Marmite.
I’m in the “love it” category of both change and Marmite. Which is probably a good thing since I have moved to 3 different times zones in the last 9 years. I have always found new things exciting. I like to think about how to adapt and starting from scratch means you can leave the mistakes in the past, taking only what you need into the future.
Whether you love change or not, you will have experienced significant change in the last month. Maybe you are now working from home, maybe you’re not able to work, you’ve become a teacher, a caregiver, or you have taken on an entirely new job. I am so impressed with the stories of industries switching to make PPE and small business owners stitching masks. This is a demonstration of how resilient the Human Race is. But Change is still hard.
The key part of managing change effectively, is keeping your eye on the end goal. What triggered the change? What will the new you look like or have? With the current situation of COVID -19 we don’t know what that goal is or when it will happen. We also didn’t choose this change, a massive roadblock for most people. Self-imposed change is always easier to cope with.
Some new things you could be facing right now in your business:
New working environment
New communication methods
New technological skills
New feelings of lack of control or trust
New future career path
New team dynamics
New co-workers (kids/pets etc, yes, we’ve all seen those videos)For some, it’s exciting, for others terrifying (yes like Marmite again). If you are responsible for a team, not only are you dealing with all this for yourself, but you are also taking on your teams’ responses. Managing people is hard enough, without the added Coronavirus Effect, if that isn’t already a term, it is now.
I keep hearing the term “Giving myself some grace”, which is great, but businesses don’t survive on grace. They survive on performance and production. Both of which are severally impacted on by change.
If you are working with teams right now or are planning to go back to your team once this is all over, here are some useful tips to consider.
Keep lines of communication open. Whatever works at this point, text, phone, zoom, just don’t let people go unheard.
Watch out for tell-tale signs of stress. Are you hearing “we just can’t do that right now”, or “I just need to know/have/be…”. If deadlines are being missed and there is a lack of boundaries, it may not be work that’s the issue, it could be the current climate.
Keep focus on the future. This is a temporary measure, although some businesses may be lost, along with a devastating loss of life, for most of us, life will have to go on after. Even if the future is unclear, there will still be one. Make your vision of it as positive as possible.
Ask for help. It has been heart-warming to see so much love and generosity come from this crisis, and yet many of us are still unable or unwilling to ask for help. If not now, when? There are so many opportunities right now to find support. Ask for it.
Also consider that once this is “all over” we will have to face more change, going back to or starting over are also stress factors for many.
One offer I have right now is a free Employee Engagement Assessment. Once you have answered a few questions about your team members, you will get an email with some ideas on how to improve in areas highlighted by your answers. There’s no obligation to follow up and no catch, although you have to be a fan of Marmite to respond. Only joking, I don’t judge, but if you'd like to try it, let me know, I'll send some.
Click here to complete the free assessment.
Another offer I have is one of gratitude to everyone who is striving forward and encouragement to those who are struggling. As the Hashtag says We are all in it together.
Stay safe and look after everyone.