Preparing for the new normal in the workplace
It’s become the latest phrase…the new normal. It’s being used by our politicians, industry leaders, emergency services, and churches.
Are you trying to look ahead to what a post-Covid-19 life will look like?
Have you had the time to consider what that may be like for you? Or have you been too busy dealing with the challenges of remote working, homeschooling, social distancing, health and your relationships, to even think about it?
I created P3 Business Care with employees at the heart of what we do. In my own career I’ve seen the result of stress, long hours, limited resources, addictions, breakdown of relationships etc. Some are forecasting that the ‘new normal’ could see us having to support a large number of people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An article published by the BBC on 12th April highlights The PTSD risk on the Covid-19 front line
This would not be a surprise within the NHS considering they have had to deal with horrendous situations in a very challenging environment and over an extended period of time. However, evidence points to increased rates of PTSD following pandemics (Wu et al., 2014)
We also need to consider people’s experiences of COVID-19-related trauma in the context of their psychosocial circumstances, including existing mental disorders and socioeconomic positions (The Lancet, 2020).
Concerns about health, trust, work, finances, children, family and the uncertainty of what will happen, have created a perfect storm for serious behavioural health issues in the workforce.
How do you address these concerns?
1. Proactively help people manage through the current uncertainty with their mental health intact and be able to participate in the emerging new normal. Don’t expect them to return to work and just ‘get back to normal’.
2. It’s critical to understand how the pandemic has impacted your employee’s personal connection to the culture of your organization.
3. It’s also important to understand if employees feel their organizations are caring for them. You need to understand how to improve and advance that care during the return to the physical workplace.
4. You also need to provide a ‘safe space’ for employees to offload about their experiences during lockdown.
It’s not all new!
Take some comfort in that the new normal isn’t new! In an article titled ‘The new normal’, following the global financial crisis and written in March 2009, Ian Davis, Worldwide Managing Director of McKinsey & Company said,
“This much is certain: when we finally enter into the post-crisis period, the business and economic context will not have returned to its pre-crisis state. Executives preparing their organizations to succeed in the new normal must focus on what has changed and what remains basically the same for their customers, companies, and industries. The result will be an environment that, while different from the past, is no less rich in possibilities for those who are prepared.”
The new normal is coming but prepare now. It’s often said our people are our most important asset and to capitalize on the doors of opportunity that will undoubtedly open, that asset needs to be fit and well.
About P3 Business Care
P3 Business Care is a Community Interest Company and social enterprise operating across the UK. Visiting your business on a weekly basis we provide personal and proactive support to your employees working in partnership with the company. We develop trust & relationships so we can identify and address issues before they become crisis, absence or staff turnover. Read more about our services here