Hello, as a Partner at SERVE2PERFORM, I’m constantly looking for trends in the marketplace affecting leaders and employees. Just like you, I’m getting my information from everywhere; print media, digital media, news casts, colleagues, and even friends and family. It seems like we’ve barely wrapped our heads around the virtual environment and now leaders are talking about opening the country in May, or possibly June. The timeline is fluid, as it should be to ensure the greater public good. Preparing for this type of pivot need not be abrupt or piece meal; instead I challenge it should be a smooth transition for both the leader and the employee, but it’s going to take work; work that should begin now because the way we work is going to be different.

If you’re an employee, you’re going to want assurances the workplace is a safe place to return to. Everyday activities that used to be the norm now have greater importance: cleaning and sanitizing practices, healthy co-workers, handshaking, flexible working arrangements and even social distancing. If there is no job, you’re wanting to find ways to monetize your skills in a gig economy.

If you’re a leader your focus may lie in culture and ensuring your employee’s transition is seamless, their cares are addressed so that productivity can go back to the level it was before COVID.

Some tips for leaders:

  1. Anticipate employee concerns. You might already be hearing about the challenges facing working parents balancing work and school aged students, as an example.

  2. Ground yourself in what your company is doing so you can share the facts.

  3. Meet with your employees one on one to talk. Be empathetic and ask them for their concerns.

  4. Commit to transparency in communication. This is going to be a journey and you want everyone to come along.

  5. Look for resources to help support employees. This change has been and will continue to be challenging for them. Some may require ongoing flexible working arrangements until daycares open.

  6. Explore new avenues for support from local state and federal agencies to support your business.

  7. Look to your community/network of peers and business experts to explore new ways to do business.

Some tips for Employees:

  1. Have a direct conversation with your supervisor to express your needs for a smooth transition back into the corporate environment.

  2. Be transparent and provide a realistic timeline, given your unique circumstances.

  3. If it isn’t possible or if your job no longer exists, explore your options in the gig economy. Look at shifting to jobs that are booming, such as delivery work, warehouse work, grocery retail work or look for firms, like ours, who specialize in helping transform and ready people for their next opportunity.

  4. Look to your community of peers, friends, and family for available resources and support while you transition back to onsite work.

It’s not too early to look ahead and begin to prepare yourself for work post-COVID 19. Join me for my SERVE2PERFORM group coaching sessions where I will lead you, and others in a confidential small group setting through an informative, and thought-provoking session to provide you with insights and tools to help you navigate this 'new normal."