Written by Shareen Pennington
CSC Marketing Manager
The doors are opening as the ‘lockdown ease’ begins. Opportunities for change are arising, and life is ‘slowly’ starting to look on the positive side. But are they looking brighter for your workplace and staff?
We all have our individual problems and stress as leaders and managers in this COVID-19 pandemic. We are so focused on the task at hand, that we become oblivious to what this change is actually doing to our peers.
From our Change Management Blog on ‘Leading Change Through Imaging Possibilities’ and reflecting on the concept of the 'Transition Curve' We touch base on some of the emotional change and journey that you and even your colleagues may be currently facing at this moment!
This is stage one. The moment we entered the lockdown phase we all (or a majority of us) would have felt a sense of ‘shock’, no one could ever see this happening and be prepared for it. On a realistic scale, no one ever thought that the UK would have been affected the way it has, let alone lead into a pandemic.
Which we have been to some extent. Denial that we would not be affected as a country, that it would not really affect the nature of our business. Treating the coronavirus like a flu and that it will pass. This is an emotional rebound to the idea of change thinking that this cannot continue for long or the factor at hand will swiftly pass.
This is probably what you and others are feeling right now? This phase of confusion is our current emotional change. Where do we go from here? How can we survive this? How do we stay afloat? All these intense questions and potential solutions and the rush of it all, is jumbling around in your head because you want to ‘fix this’ quick or return to normality. This can really impact your mental state, through anxiety, depression and that loss of sense of direction. In turn, dropping levels of engagement, pressure and stress continues to rise and an increase in an unhealthy wellbeing status.
With nowhere to go and that feeling of being lost will build up and turn to the feeling of failure and just ‘giving up’! As leaders and managers, it’s our responsibility to help motivate teams and transition them out of this horrible feeling and into the world of change and ‘exploration’.
This is where we all want to be at! At this emotional point in this journey of change, we explore ways to make it work. Thinking more innovatively, outside the box or getting involved in problem-solving. Building a positive connection with the team to come up with solutions to make it happen!
It is what it is! This is when you finally got the ropes and understand for yourself that this will be how it is moving forward. Accepting the change, embracing and working with it. This will most likely come after exploring the possibilities and opportunity phase (hopefully). But if one was to fall back into ‘denial’, ‘confusion’ and ‘resignation’ stages of despair again, then consider learning and training in change management so you can guide your team towards a successful path.
If you thought this blog article was helpful and you are looking at how to be better leaders through change, at the Civil Service College we provide a 'change management' course called Unlocking Employee Engagement & Managing Change.