the next normal

De-Risking the Next Normal: A Three Phased Approach

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There is no doubt that what we’ve seen over the course the last few months can be described as a decade’s worth of digital transformation, hastily packed into the course of several weeks. While remote work isn’t necessarily new, it is for a lot of people and organizations—and it is absolutely critical to remind ourselves, as people, managers, and leaders that the world we’re all working in now is far from normal. Unfortunately, the current situation is driving more people into the realms of distraction, anxiety, and just a general a general lack of well-being.  

And you know what—that’s OK, it’s understandable, and it should be spoken about openly. Companies and leaders should be going above and beyond, building trust, exercising candor, and acknowledging these challenges their teams are facing. People are uniquely human, everyone experiences things differently—and it is up to the leadership to provide a safe, productive, and empathetic space to grow both personally and professionally.  

Below are the phases of transformation that are occurring as part of the next normal. Now that communication and collaboration have been secured, it’s time for companies to focus on their most valuable asset, their people. 

Phase 1—Closing the Communication Gap 

One of the first priorities many organizations, and rightfully so, checked off was ensuring their teams had the tools in place to facilitate communication. Messaging software, teleconferencing tools, and various other platform were quickly deployed and filled the communication gap that suddenly existed. The tools are certainly necessary, but after the initial wave of excitement has worn off—these tools often continue to make people feel disconnected, isolated, mentally exhausted, and drive a longing for days past.  

The tools are certainly necessary, but after the initial wave of excitement has worn off—these tools often continue to make people feel disconnected, isolated, mentally exhausted, and drive a longing for days past.  

While real-time communication is a must in today’s day and age—it’s critical for managers to try and limit distraction. These tools, and the lack of guidance around them, can actually lead to increased stress, constant distraction (which drops performance), and a feeling of uneasiness because your team members never feel like they have an opportunity to disconnect and recharge.  

Phase 2—Providing a Collaborative Space 

The next step in ensuring some semblance of continuity was providing teams with tools that would allow them to continue their collaborative efforts, as if they were still side-by-side ideating, planning, and executing. Like communication tools—many organizations used project management tools, work management tools, and cloud-based document platforms, but the reliance on these systems has increased tenfold as everyone has been forced to work remotely. Many companies do not plan on returning to their formal office in 2020, let alone many that are making the decision to permanently shift to a remote-based culture.  

Interestingly, with these tools, teams are generating a ton of valuable data that most managers just don’t have the time and skillset to aggregate and analyze appropriately. 

Collaboration tools are hugely helpful in this new frontier. Interestingly, with these tools, teams are generating a ton of valuable data that most managers just don’t have the time and skillset to aggregate and analyze appropriately. As we enter into Phase 3, it’s important to keep that in the back of your mind, as leveraging a tool that can automate that process ensures all of the benefits of becoming a data-driven manager—without the headache or time traditionally required to do so.  

Phase 3—Ensuring Managers Have the Tools to Keep Their Teams Happy & Healthy 

As companies started to enter Phase 3, they have started shifting the focus onto their people—largely with two wildly opposing ends of the spectrum. Some companies have elected to monitor their employees by using software that monitors keystrokes, webcams, and every single activity an employee may be, or may not be, doing. This Big Brother approach is taxing on employees and erodes trust.  

The other end of the spectrum focuses on optimizing meetings, particularly 1 on 1s, but doesn’t acknowledge that the traditional format is broken to begin with. Software companies on this end of the spectrum, at their core, are trying to alleviate inefficiencies (with a keen eye on the manager only), giving managers more time back in their day and often missing the key issues at the root of an employee’s engagement, productivity, and happiness. Likewise, employees may not feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts and emotions on how they are feeling or the roadblocks they are facing. This type of software tends to lead to micro-management centric 1:1s (just going through a list of what have you done lately) and create more work for the employee. 

What’s missing in this new world, the next normal, are the tools organizations and managers need to not only ensure their team members are being productive, but making sure they have what they need, they feel secure, and they are maintaining a healthy work/life balance in real time—even when they may not feel like they can say so one way or another.  

What’s missing in this new world, the next normal, are the tools organizations and managers need to not only ensure their team members are being productive, but making sure they have what they need, they feel secure, and they are maintaining a healthy work/life balance in real time—even when they may not feel like they can say so one way or another.

Sure, a broad sweeping statement that so many analysts have shared that sounds good is that people are working on average two hours more a day because they are remote. What’s not being brought to the forefront is whether they are working an extra two hours because they are scared to lose their job, or perhaps they are working longer hours because of constant distractions around the home. 

 And don’t get us wrong, we understand and believe in work from home flexibility being a true key to success and a happy workforce—after all, employees deserve that flexibility and autonomy, that’s why they are hired in the first place.  

The critical shift that needs to occur from management teams during these times and beyond is the individualization of leadership. You’ve bridged the communication gap, you’ve provided a space (or spaces) for real-time collaboration, now it’s essential to arm managers with tools that will become essential for delivering data-driven, individualized, and strengths-based management.  

Not to mention that by entering into and moving past the first two phases in the next normal, teams are generating way more valuable data than ever before. Instead of trying to rely on your managers, who are already struggling to keep their head above water, to structure, parse, analyze, and act upon the data in a meaningful way, provide them with a tool that can automate that process from start to finish.  

Peoplelogic.ai connects to the tools your teams are already using. Using non-invasive data that is readily accessible across the tools your team members are using to get their work done, Peoplelogic.ai surfaces insights and recommendations for managers to make sure their team members feel appreciated, engaged, and secure—even when they may be too worried to say they’re not.  

Get started today with your first team free.

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