One of the priorities of business when the current geopolitical crisis began was the implementation of emergency anti-crisis measures for the internal audience – from financial support for employees in the form of additional salaries (as, for example, in Yandex) to transparent communication of what is happening in the format of meetings with top management, creating a supportive atmosphere in the team and the opportunity to seek help from psychologists.
Now the situation again requires the mobilization of all the resources of employees – both to reconfigure processes and to search for new business prospects.
Supply chain disruptions, business disruption, forced change in consumer habits are all transforming the entire market landscape. Leaders and newcomers in many areas find themselves in almost equal conditions – both of them have to build many processes literally from scratch. In other words, a big redistribution of markets awaits us.
In order to continue working, a business will have to solve many non-trivial tasks, and for this, a workable team is needed. Several problems arise here.
- The first is already in 2021 75% of Russians noted have signs of emotional burnout, 61% sought spend as little time as possible on work, and 45% of those working in the creative industries didn’t feel yourself at work in safety.
- The second is that in order to stay afloat, businesses are cutting staff costs. 68% of small and medium-sized businesses transferred part of their employees to other positions, a third of them abandoned motivational programs.
- The third is an “emotional storm” and a reassessment of values by the employees themselves.
The pandemic and remote work have become a catalyst for many to rethink the place and role of work in life. Then companies were forced to transform their “cultural code” in order to retain the best employees. The current tragic events have become a turning point for many.
Crisis of meanings
What is happening in the country and abroad has launched a truly large-scale process of rethinking values and priorities, and primarily at the level of the individual. Former ideas about the world, about the meaning of life, about work, about the people around us were subjected to a great test.
Against the background of the tragedy, some people may feel emptiness and ask questions – what is the point in my work? does it benefit? why and why are we doing this? how relevant is my activity to the situation? Can I be confident in my employer, trust him?
Departure and suspension of activities in Russia over 400 Western companies have had a great emotional impact on many.
On the one hand, talented professionals who shared the same values with companies and felt connected to the brand found themselves in a vulnerable position, which became a cause of frustration for some.
On the other hand, this feeling of “abandonment” affected not only current employees, but also potential candidates, customers and loyal fans of the brand. We can already see the first reaction to this – at the end of March, 77% of Russians noted that won’t go to work for Western companies in the event of their return to the market, noting among the reasons the uncertainty in their reliability.
What seemed reliable, the values for which the audience chose certain brands, were under threat. Confusion and loss of trust will involuntarily contribute to rethinking the place of work in life, the boundaries of loyalty to the company.
Looking for answers
Companies are forced to operate in a very difficult economic and emotional context. To cope with this, they need to actualize the meaning of their existence – for what we, as a business, continue to work now?
The answer to this question accumulates resources to improve organizational efficiency, releases store of emotional energy of employees.
For employees who are acutely experiencing the loss of meaning, they believe that their work is devalued, who have reduced workload due to the crisis, you can either organize volunteer practices if they were not there before, or increase the number of hours allotted for them.
It does not have to be trips or physical participation in the activities of the foundation or wards, intellectual volunteering is now gaining more and more popularity. This can help to find the lost meaning, to translate experiences into a constructive channel.
In any case, it is best to go into such a study of business-relevant meanings together with employees – on your own or with the involvement of consultants.
There are five key steps along the way.
- First step. Gather employee insights
Find out what worries your employees now, what is important to them, and what has ceased to be so? Be prepared to explore this question from different angles and look for intersections in the answers. To help and HR conversations with employees in the field, and short surveys, and in-depth interviews, and workshops with the team. It is very important to involve as many people as possible in this process in order to take into account the opinion of everyone.
- Second step. Highlight Key Landmarks
What values have guided our activities so far? How did they manifest themselves in real work? Are they still relevant? What skills, qualities, aspirations are coming to the fore today? It is important to single out the main points of support in the company’s cultural code – meanings that will be relevant to the current time and at the same time help to move forward.
- Third step. Find new perspectives
What can be regarded as an advantage for business in this situation? New markets, connections, partners, processes – is it possible to find growth levers here? What is the goal on the horizon that can inspire and motivate the team? Look for new points of support – non-trivial tasks, promising niches, projects with great potential.
- Fourth step. Make communication as transparent as possible
Lack of answers to important questions and misunderstanding of the logic of the company’s actions can significantly reduce loyalty and destabilize moods within the team. In order to avoid negative scenarios, it is important to conduct transparent communication – openly talk about all the actions taken by management, explain the reasons and consequences of the planned changes. Having a complete understanding of the vector of further development, employees feel the ability to control the situation, and the transparency of information and the possibility of open discussion contribute to unity within the team.
- Fifth step. Enhance Communication
Old patterns are stronger than new agreements. Even if everyone agreed that we now live in a new way, the usual way of doing business, communicating internally and with customers can still prevail. A local example of the company Fitmost can be indicative. The team agreed that the news from all departments, published on Slack once a week, is required reading, and the emoji is the mark of read. And although no one had any doubts about the need for this, a couple of weeks later, without reminders, some of the employees began to forget to do this.
And, of course, we must remember that the introduction of any changes should be accompanied by communication, supported by training, and line managers should become a “role model”.
Cover photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm / Unsplash
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Source: RB.RU by rb.ru.
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