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  • Rebuilding your business after lockdown

    By David Tomkinson, andpartnership

    The Prime Minister announced his plans for coming out of lockdown on Sunday 10th May. I’m sure everyone is planning furiously how to get their business back on track after weeks of disruption. But what about the people? There are going to be so many different experiences over the lockdown period that getting a team back together, physically or virtually, will have some unique challenges.

    “I’m sure everyone is planning furiously how to get their business back on track after weeks of disruption. But what about the people?”

    Let’s have a look at a sample of some of the reactions and feelings that you might have to deal with:

    • Andrew –furloughed on full pay, happy to be off, has done the garden, helped with childcare and home schooling. Felt a bit like a long holiday, got a bit of a tan
    • Nicola –didn’t want to be furloughed, has struggled financially at 80%. Has been really bored, lives alone, can’t wait to get back to work. Feels undervalued as she wasn’t classed as a key worker
    • David – has been doing his own job, going into work. Happy to have been working but anxious about catching virus. Has been working extra shifts as the business has been so busy, so plenty of money but very tired. Resents the fact that some of his colleagues were able to be furloughed and he wasn’t
    • Andrea –transferred to another role – was told her role wasn’t key but she needed to move into the call centre so couldn’t be furloughed. Didn’t like the temporary role, very busy, found it boring. Resented not being able to be furloughed with her family, like many of her colleagues
    • Nathan – had to keep working but from home. Kept in touch with loads of Zoom calls but didn’t miss the commute. Wonders if he will be allowed to do this when it’s over. Found it hard to concentrate sometimes with the family in the house. Had to juggle childcare with his partner who was furloughed
    • Danielle –her parents had symptoms so was told to self isolate. Was only paid sick pay and has now nearly run out of entitlement. Resents that she wasn’t furloughed
    • Aaron –has an underlying health condition and had to Shield for 12 weeks. Paid full pay on furlough for this time – very anxious about catching the virus if he comes back to work
    • Nancy –the senior leader of several teams, has been working throughout, trying to plan the company’s response to these difficult times. Very stressed, doesn’t have anyone to talk to about it, just has to cope. Feels huge responsibility for her people
    • Dominic –is a leader of a team of six people, four of whom have been working from home, two have been furloughed. He has been working from home and not enjoying it. Finds it hard to keep the team motivated remotely. Hasn’t had much contact with the two furloughed people as they seem resentful.
    • Amy –runs her own cafe, employs ten staff who are all furloughed on 80% pay. She hasn’t received her government assistance yet and has money in the bank to survive one more month. Very stressed, wondering how she can reopen with social distancing
    • Niall – works in a pub, has been furloughed the whole time. Can’t see when pubs will be allowed to reopen and has the threat of redundancy when the furlough scheme stops. Has a large mortgage and is very stressed
    • Debbie –has elderly parents who are shielding and grandchildren she hasn’t seen for three months. Is very anxious about catching the virus when she has to commute to work again.

    … and many more besides. Which one are you? Do you know what reaction each of the people you work with have had/are likely to have? Due to the business disruption, you are going to need every ounce of each person’s energy and creativity to get things back on track. So you will need to do something to validate the individual experiences and prevent any ongoing resentments. Whatever the size of your business, you can’t afford to leave the team relationships to chance, or they could get in the way of your recovery.

    To rebuild after a change like this you need to:

    • share experiences and how people are feeling after coming back to work
    • create an honest conversation between the different groups, with high levels of listening to each other
    • join the different groups back up again to do some real work together
    • decide as a whole group how they want to work together going forward
    • get creative, using everyone’s thoughts to create the new normal
    • have regular check-ins to ensure that everyone is doing OK, especially those who are very nervous about commuting/coming back to work

    We have a range of workshops and products to help people to transition into the new world, for all sizes of businesses, ranging from on-line bite size sessions through to large group face to face events, when social distancing allows!

    “How you handle this will define your culture, and influence your performance in the future.”

    At andpartnership, we have designed a 3-phased approach to helping organisations through lockdown and beyond.

    • Phase One – Support and Survive
    • Phase Two – Review and Release
    • Phase Three – Adapt and Thrive

    Want to find out more?

    You can visit our website – https://www.andpartnership.co.uk/ or …

    Drop us a line now and start planning for how you will rebuild your business through your people.

    Please contact David Tomkinson on 07710 003029 or email him david.tomkinson@andpartnership.com

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    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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