The Pandemic, your business, your people and the Phoenix to Dodo Spectrum.

“Right now you need to have the trust of people, manage anxiety and foster collaborative relationships”. 

The impact on businesses will of course be on a spectrum - one I like to call the Phoenix to Dodo Spectrum, and it is in the hands of every business owner to act now to ensure their business is on the right end of that spectrum - to be a Phoenix and not a Dodo.

The pandemic is creating a perfect storm of conditions that can have the potential to destroy businesses, livelihoods, create conflicts, bring exhaustion and despair. However handled with care and attention it can also be possible to make changes that will strengthen the core of your business, bring change, rejuvenate momentum, bring hope and vitality. 

“Remember right now it’s all about relationships”. 

The five step “Phoenix plan”

  1. Think short, medium and longer term and pick periods of time that feel right to classify as short, medium and longer term.
  2. For each write down the issues facing your business and the relationships key to these
  3. Revisit your agreements for existing relationships and make sure you understand the commitments made on both sides - make plans to either continue to meet your agreements or renegotiate them
  4. Expand your network and form new alliances so that new relationships fill any gaps
  5. Consider how people are responding on the Dodo - Pheonix Spectrum and decide on how to handle them. Foster the fellow phoenix’s and protect yourself from the Dodo’s.

Here are our tips for how to approach all your relationships, staff, customers and suppliers:

  1. Act with integrity - in times of crisis people remember who takes responsibility, acts with care and is compassionate 
  2. Be open and straightforward about what you are doing to respond to the pandemic to meet your commitments 
  3. Explore all new tools for communication and working together 
  4. Look for changes of behaviour in yourself and others - they often signify struggle - and be proactive don't let unhelpful and destructive forms of behaviour escalate.
  5. Invite, give thanks, assess and respond to feedback
  6. Look for opportunities to foster and grow new or existing positive relationships
  7. Look out for negative relationships, maintain your boundaries and plan how to leave the “abusive” relationships

People are your biggest asset 

Everyone knows the backbone of any business is people, and the health and wellbeing of your business will depend on the health and wellbeing of your people. Everybody responds to stress in different ways - some people’s responses will be judged positively and others negatively however the important thing to remember is that however people are responding any change of behaviour shows people are under stress and this must be managed. Prolonged stress leads to anxiety and exhaustion - leading to poor decision making and health/wellbeing that will only escalate.

Support yourself and your people now to reduce and manage stress and foster positive attitudes and vitality, but how? Stress management relies on creating time and opportunity for people to identify and understand the source of their stress and then to develop their own plan. Your role is to ensure that you recognise when necessary and put the right support in place.

When should you be thinking about psychological wellbeing? 

Maybe your organisation has:

* needed to "furlough" staff and want to offer them extra support

* moved to home working and need support to adjust

* needed to let go of staff and now those remaining are struggling - angry, upset or anxious

  • people who are starting to behave uncharacteristically
  • people trying to work whilst dealing with family illnesses or bereavements

* increased sickness due to stress and anxiety

* noticed an increase in conflict

What options can you consider?

First of all look at the people in your business - who do you have that already understand about health and wellbeing? What is already in place and what works well? What can you do more of? Ask people for their views and ask what would be helpful?

If you struggle to answer any of these questions then don’t hesitate to seek outside help. Services are available to help answer these questions and put appropriate, cost effective services in place, these include:

  • In-house therapeutic support and consultancy at times of crisis for example bereavements, redundancy
  • Staff support and counselling sessions 
  • Group sessions facilitated by experts so staff members are able to share experiences and build team resilience
  • Online group workshops on stress and anxiety management
  • Develop monitoring and review processes to ensure your support services remain effective and current

For more infromation on our services for business and organisations click here.