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Leaders: Here are 3 ways to guide your teams through continued uncertainty

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Since March of 2020, when the first stay-at-home orders were being issued within the U.S., Americans have been waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to get under control, whether by a decrease in cases via safety measures or more people receiving vaccines. However, after a brief period of hopefulness, vaccination rates are not what they could be, and we now find ourselves more or less back to where we were during the worst of the pandemic last winter. With organizations cancelling their plans to return to the office or setting up hybrid workplaces, and people’s hopes for a semblance of normalcy dashed, we are having to face an uncomfortable truth: that we are not so much in an era of a “new normal,” but an era of indefinite uncertainty.

Unfortunately, humans don’t enjoy uncertainty. In fact, we dislike it so much that we find uncertainty even more stressful than knowing, with certainty, that something bad will happen. When uncertainty gets prolonged, it can lead to chronic stress, which hampers people’s ability to communicate. This presents a real challenge because in times like these, it becomes all the more important to communicate effectively, both formally and informally. Since each organization is unique, there can be no magic bullet or universal solution; but there are some useful generalities that can safely apply to everyone.

Despite the greater urgency and need for good communication, there are entire groups of management that don’t know how to go about motivating frustrated and confused employees during this period. This points to a problem that predates the pandemic, which is that many organizations don’t necessarily........

© Fast Company

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