Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Our post this week is a little more philosophical and Human Resources-related than usual. But hopefully helpful,
if not inspiring. But I feel it bears mentioning in the context of all of us dealing with work, getting hired, staying in our roles, or even advancing during a pandemic.
As humans first, and as employees second, we have an innate appetite and craving to make things better. But my hypothesis with this post is that with this pandemic, some of us have been lured into "just holding on" and gripping that "status quo". And I think for those people, though I can understand, this is a lost opportunity.
There are many reasons why some people would respond this way. I, personally, at times throughout this pandemic have been in this mode. Some of those reasons others could be in this mode could include an extremely cautionary health outlook, either because you have kids in school, or older parents living with you and you don't want to pass on "the Covid" to others. Other reasons could include your company has asked you to voluntarily reduce your salary - sort of a rhetoric question. Others may feel this because they've seen 30% of their colleagues vanish from the company.
I read recently in Human Resources Director magazine that 49% of employees in Canada were considering leaving their jobs. 49%! https://bit.ly/3kyzPOY
Some Potential Solutions:
So I very humbly offer up some suggestions on how to get out of this mode and to take on the enemy of the "status quo":
We, as humans, are innately innovative, improvers, and fixers. So look back at your past work or personal experiences and remind yourself what you did then to improve a situation, or to be innovative. What processes did you employ. What mentally spurred you on. Did you work with others? Review and determine if you can employ those "best practices" now.
Talk to people! I don't mean e-mail, Zoom, or text. I mean have a conversation with someone, with at least a clear purpose to the call. Do you have a mentor in the organization? Do you have some friends in different industries you can reach out to and ask how are they improving from the "status quo" in their organization?
Check out websites that talk about innovation and Design Thinking. Core to both of these practices is keeping the customer at the core of the process. Beg, borrow and steal techniques that you might apply to your own work situation.
Put the tools down. Being an ex JWT-er, a great training agency, I vividly remember reading the little yellow book by James Webb Young (sp?) talking about the creative process: step 1) dive into the facts and deliverables thoroughly, step 2) walk away, literally and mentally. Go for a walk, go to a museum, go interact with other humans, step 3) let the collision of the background and business deliverables collide with real life and let the magic begin. It's just the way the brain works, whether you like it or not.
Continue with "lunch & learn" sessions. There are numerous outside companies and suppliers that want to sell their wares to you: location based marketing, personalization, data, A.I., A.R, A.B., A.C., etc. Keep the training going; stimulate your team intellectually; look at your business or your customers business through these other lens. Your suppliers will jump at the chance to interact with you and share what they know. And for those of you who know me, you know two things about me: 1) My first career was as a musician and 2) I'm a perpetual student of business. Keep learning!
Check with your senior management on their strategies, revised strategies, plans and expectations. Ask how you fit in or if not currently, determine how you can fit in and help. Determine if everyone on the team is on the same page, pulling in the same direction.
Map out your day, or look at your schedule from yesterday or the week. Try to take an objective view of what you see. Are you seeing productive calls, are you scheduling time to do your work. Also think determine if you have too many tabs open on your browser? Where is your phone when you are working. Research would indicate these types of things distract your mind from the task at hand. Self assess.
Lastly, and I truly mean this, this last point is not selling our offering at SuperMarket, though we do help business and brands transform, but an alternative approach is to bring in outside advisors - people that have not been as close to the business as you or as in-depthly as you. (note to self, check if "in-depthly" is a word). Great agencies, management consultancies, business analysts have fresh eyes, and if they are good, are better listeners than talkers. They can bring fresh perspectives, other category learning, new frameworks and models to help you see your business differently.
So we are all being challenged in so many more ways than we have been historically; through our companies or through our personal lives. I think the point of this is though "the status quo is the enemy", you are more skilled and creative at working through this than you might think. Humans are survivors, and sometimes that means bringing creative thinking to your own situation, be it personally, the family situation, or for your company.
And we are always happy to provide any advice we can to anyone that is feeling a little of this stasis. Contact details on the site.
Let us know what you think.