The title of this short piece is inspired verbatim from a note made by a colleague.
How can employers reduce their employees’ fears while responsibly managing the expectation of the unknown?
Empathy is key. Very few of us don’t have the lived experience of this anxiety. COVID-19 doesn’t care how much you earn, where you live, or what you do. We’re all locked down, and, due to the ‘concussion’ of this reality, most individuals and organisations are in a holding pattern corralling cash and reducing their spend while waiting this out. The result: radically reduced spending; radically reduced revenue; radically reduced resources.
The principle is simple: a reduction in customer spend is a reduction of an organisation’s income. If the reduction in spend persists (and it will until COVID is no longer a threat), so does income. If employers don’t earn enough to retain all or most of their workforce, jobs will be cut.
What is not simple is the impact this has on the human psyche, individually and collectively. Employers cannot commit to indefinite protection of jobs during this crisis. This is why we are stressed.
We have little to no control over how life happens, and every bit of control of how we choose to respond to it. So what?
It is as much my responsibility as my employer's to manage my stress during this extra ordinary time. Importantly, as employers, clients, leaders and managers, it is our responsibility to maintain grace under pressure, be radically transparent, and appropriately appease our people's anxiety, while, as ever, responsibly and respectfully managing expectations.
In service, let us remain on-purpose and kind.