Preparing for the post-Covid World of Work
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
As HR professionals we are well versed in the concepts of change management. You know: Explain the why. Talk to the people. Gain buy in. Assess readiness. Communicate communicate communicate. Check in with the people. Communicate some more and work like hell to inspire the people. In the best of times, this is moderately effective, because as humans most of us don’t like change that much. Some of us pretend we do, and some of us adapt better than others, but overall, it’s just plain uncomfortable across the board. So what to do when the entire planet is going through change? And there is no plan? No path? No bright future state to set our sights on? There’s no playbook right now. We’re all scrambling around in no-mans land, trying our best to make sense of what the heck is going on, and make it through the day. The bravest among us might be casting their eyes to the future and doing their best to chart their course based on a best guess prediction of how this ends. For the last decade (more!) doctors, data scientists, researchers, climatologists and teems of other experts have been warning us about our future. The world is warming. Robots are coming to take our jobs. Antibiotics aren’t working. People aren’t vaccinating their children. Mental health problems are on the rise, alarmingly so in children. Superbugs are literally around the corner. Screens are ruining us. Among many other daunting predictions. Despite these warnings from experts, the vast majority of us have done, well, nothing. We’ve kept humming along. Maintaining status quo. Perhaps fearing the worst, but certainly still hoping for and preparing for the best. Our inaction has left us exposed and unprepared for the place we are today. Many (most!) of us are struggling with this new norm. A norm that doesn’t feel normal at all and is further compounded by its innate open-endedness. The reasons for our struggle are obvious: humans are social, we like predictability and we don’t like change. At least not at this scale. So how do we prepare ourselves for the “future” that will be left for us, once all of this is behind us, (or at the very least in a more controlled state)? How do we ensure there is a spot for us in a future that is impossible to envision? Well, the experts have thoughts on this too. And if we listen to the experts that we’ve previously ignored, we will take this time to prepare ourselves by building our human skills. We’ll flex our resilience and our empathy. We’ll embrace a growth mindset. We’ll engage in some deep introspection and identify our purpose. What we’re really good at. What we value. What motivates us. Our signature strengths. It may not be linear or perfect, or neat and tidy. But those among us that can leverage this life-changing experience to nurture ourselves, and develop the most human of skills will undoubtedly come out better prepared for the future of work that awaits us. And just maybe, that future will be brighter and more fulfilling than the comfortable normal we’ve left behind!
Stay safe- Colleen