Published on March 16, 2020 on LinkedIn
COVID-19 has reshaped the way we are thinking about safety in the workplace while also shifting the norms of how we conduct business. It has become a distraction and a disruptor, and we are living in our new “normal”. At minimum, it has added additional layers of complexity and considerations to business operations. For some, this complexity may have long-lasting and detrimental effects, many of which we hadn’t anticipated. This is something none of us should minimize or take for granted. Here are some of my early observations:
- Even if you think you’re prepared for something like this, you’re not. Therefore, reviewing your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans often is a best practice. Whether you had strong plans in place pre-COVID or not, lessons can still be learned and there is still time to protect your organization to promote a safe and healthy environment.
- Early and frequent communication and protocol has been key. Many organizations were early adopters of remote work and other preventive measures to keep the health and safety of their workforce (and families) top of mind.
- Strong leadership has mattered now more than ever. Organizations and their workforces are counting on leaders making timely and appropriate decisions to keep them and their families safe.
- Many of the precautions organizations are taking are already in line with normal operational protocol (hand-washing, remote work options, cleaning and sanitation).
- Some are not though, such as recruiting efforts that have had to go on pause, changes in recruitment procedures in the interim (no interviews, virtual interviews), no longer allowing visitors onsite, travel restrictions, social distancing, and unexpected changes to business forecasting and managing the day-to-day operations.
- We are stronger, more creative, and mostly more resilient than we realized or gave ourselves credit for. While it may not be easy to bounce back, and some will feel the effects more than others, the level of community commitment I’ve observed has been encouraging and inspiring.
- Networking, collaboration, and information-sharing has increased, as has collaboration across organizations toward the greater good, and a pooling of resources like I’ve frankly not ever experienced in my lifetime. I’ve had more conversations than ever with peers/colleagues all over the world so we can seek best practices and learn from each other (a practice I plan to continue as and after we move through the epidemic). In a few days, I grew my network by 39 people! We are stronger together and despite these difficult times, networking and information-sharing can and should still occur.
One thing is shared amongst us all, no matter our industry, beliefs, situation, or location- the need for increased communication, creativity, community, and pulling together toward prevention of this epidemic further spreading. These are abnormal times and we can’t predict how things will turn out, but we can work together toward lessening the impact it will have on our workplaces, communities, and economies. Wishing you all health and safety!