Future ready organisations: 3 steps beyond perseverance.
It is almost a year now since McKinsey&Co published their article, “Overcoming pandemic fatigue: How to reenergize organizations for the long run.”
The writers said perseverance and determination aren’t enough for organisational or personal survival.
The report told us:
- 75 percent of employees in the United States1 and close to a third in the Asia–Pacific region2 report symptoms of burnout.
- The number of those who rate their mental health as “very poor” is more than three times higher than before the crisis…
The article said organisations need to do more than survive.
Here we are, 12 months down the track, and little has changed. Many would say the organisations that survived this long were the lucky ones.
But where do we go from here? How long can we just focus on “getting through the pandemic.”? How can we become future ready?
When I look at this enormous black cloud overhead, it’s overwhelming. Yet, I’ve learnt to manage my reactions by breaking the process into three stages:
By now, most teams and organisations have developed basic processes for managing remote work and all it involves. One thing which has become crystal clear is the need to look after the human needs of our people. I’m pleased to see companies everywhere starting to take this into account. Giving your people more time or more control over their work is a great way to help them cope.
That’s got us through so far, but perseverance only last so long before even the strongest of us hits the wall. With no end in sight to the pandemic crisis, the wall is getting closer and closer…
We need to do more than cope. We need to be future ready.
Here’s where the clever companies start to step ahead.
There are changes we should have made ages ago and it’s the one thing I can thank the pandemic for. It’s time to humanise the workplace and not just talk about it. You can do these things as a leader, and you can put them in place across your organisation.
Clever companies are becoming human organisations.
We’re always telling our leaders to listen to their people and to show they care. We’ve taught them to build relationships because we now know human connection is what holds our workplaces together.
But what is your organisation doing to be human?
What are you doing to manage the mental health of your people?
Today, burnout is becoming an increasing issue. We are beginning to see workers winning compensation claims for burnout and psychological stress. We’re isolated, depressed, under pressure, and feeling disillusioned with everything and everyone.
The way we work has changed and won’t go back to what it was. This is your opportunity to reshape your organisation and start doing things better.
- Why can’t you give people time off to combat burnout? Bumble
- Why can’t you let people work from home permanently if it suits you both? Dropbox
- Why can’t you limit after-hours work emails? Advisory Board
- Why can’t you actively listen to your people? A health care business
People want to be heard, especially in difficult times, and they are the ones who hold the key to the future. They are the ones who will show you how to convert from survival to growth.
Now is the perfect time to start trialling change and conversion.
If you cope and convert, your team will come out of this experience stronger and more resilient than ever. But if you don’t take the next step, you will need to keep repeating the cope and convert stages when every change comes along.
Conquering the effects of the pandemic – of change, of despair, of frustration, of confusion – means taking the next step. It means making concrete policy, procedure, and expectation changes.
You’ve been through the process, now embed it into your company. Be smart about it. Keep the lines of communication going like it’s a part of life because it is! Be ready to change the way you do things to meet the needs of your people, so you meet your goals. This isn’t about adapting to change once (for the pandemic): it’s about remaining adaptable from now on. That’s how you conquer what comes along.
We can concentrate on survival or create positive change and re-enter the post-pandemic world with strength and confidence. Which will you do?
Cope, convert and conquer!
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Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished, award-winning CEO and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.