Ask the Questions – Have Courage, Vulnerability, and an Open Mind!
We have all received a flurry of articles offering guidance regarding reopening the workplace after COVID19. Many companies are choosing to maintain complete or partial work from home to ensure the safety and security of their employees. Others have realized that “work from home works”, and there is no need for a physical office environment. Others have determined that working in the office is required based on the type of services/business that they perform. Recommended guidance includes the availability and use of sanitary wipes, masks, sanitizing stations near bathroom doors, minimizing the use of breakrooms, staggered shifts. etc. All of these are vitally important and need to be immediately put into place.
The most important “to do” in reopening the workplace is helping instill confidence and a sense of calm with your employees, how can you do that? Ask the following:
• What would make YOU feel comfortable coming back to the workplace?
• What are your areas of concern about working in this environment? What are you afraid of?
• What suggestions do you have to deal with those concerns?
While you are on a roll, gather ideas to evolve and pivot the business and your offerings. Ask the following:
• What ideas or suggestions do you have to shift the business and our offerings in this next phase of COVID19?
You cannot address concerns or make the best decisions for reopening or pivoting your business if you have not asked these questions to the people most affected. This requires courage, vulnerability, and being open to listen when you do not know what you will hear.
The origin of the word courage is from the French word couer, which means “heart”. In other words, it takes heart to make changes.
Give your employees an open forum to share their ideas and concerns. Implement those that you can, investigate the others, and honestly respond to those that you cannot put into practice.
A client asked the questions and one of the employees stated, “Can the cleaning crew NOT clean my workspace? I do not know who they are or where they have been, and I come in and clean what they have cleaned”. GOOD POINT and easy to implement.
A male client recently exhibited courage and vulnerability and asked his team the questions. He learned that women in the office were concerned about standing next to each other while washing their hands in the restroom. They were trying to kill germs with hot water and sanitizer while standing less than one foot from the next person. An easy fix was to put up a plastic divider to create a contact barrier to the next person.
A restaurant client asked his team how to sustain business during self-quarantine. He had an open mind and implemented “dinner-to-go, cook-at-home boxes” as suggested by a cook. This creative idea allows guests to replicate their favorite dishes and will live well beyond stay-at-home.
Being a leader means having the courage to ask the tough questions, and the heart to be vulnerable and open in the unknown. Who knows, you might hear the next great idea or iteration for your business that could pivot what you do and catapult you into an even more successful future.
For support with this and other areas regarding your employees and team call us at 855-447-4111 or reach out for a complimentary consultation at calendly.com/schedule-time-with-glenna