What did COVID-19 ever do for us?

What did COVID-19 ever do for us?

The ongoing situation with Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has seen many organisations react and put in place new measures to enable employees to keep working and maintain some semblance of “normality”.  We only need to look on social media to see a large number of posts from employees showing what their companies have been doing to support them.

How individuals have themselves reacted to this very fluid situation is extremely subjective and depends on the level to which they take personal responsibility for their own situation.  For example; if IT issues are making home-working difficult, what creative ways of working can be found or how are we engaging with our IT colleagues to find solutions? If we are feeling anxiety levels rise, how are we finding ways of bringing it down through finding useful information that addresses our worries in a positive way?

If we remember that the results that we GET are in a large part dependent on the behaviours and thinking that we demonstrate (the “GIVE”), it is right that we should pause for a moment and consider where we are right now and whether we are happy with those results.

When working through the Personal Leadership Programme, groups talk through their “BE-DO-GET” at the beginning of Day 3.  This exercise asks them to consider the following:

  • How have you BEEN different since we last saw each other on Day 2?
  • What have you DONE differently as a result of this change in behaviour?
  • What results have you GOT as a result?

Generally, participants talk about being more appreciative, listening more attentively, asking more questions, etc.  In terms of results, we see improvements in personal relationships, a more relaxed style of leadership, a sense of calmness, more confidence and positive outcomes in both professional and personal situations.

Let’s overlay COVID-19 and think about how, as an organisation, how we have has been, what we have done and what results we are getting?

  • JE has been quick to respond by ensuring employees have the necessary equipment to enable home-working. There has been very little to no break in service – the lights haven’t gone out!
  • Through Office 365 Teams we are able to connect remotely and keep conversations going.
  • We have provided opportunities for employees to connect and discuss wellbeing. Teams are talking to each other across functions.
  • Senior colleagues and teams have met frequently to share developing knowledge of the situation and consider a way forward. Plans are put in place quickly and with high levels of collaboration.
  • Previously underused communication methods have come to the fore and are being used to share information across our workforce
  • Managers and employees are having daily conversations about what is working and what needs to be improved.
  • Renewed focus is being given to how we service all customers across our island community.
  • Opportunities have been identified to pool resources and offer each other support.

Some may say that the above has been evident much longer than the Coronavirus outbreak; however it has been brought into much sharper focus now, as we reflect on how well prepared the organisation has been and how it has responded.  Arguably, none of the above would have been possible without the right leadership mindset.  The shift in this mindset around how we operate as an organisation cannot be underestimated and will likely have a lasting legacy.

The challenge now is to continue, as individuals, thinking about the connections between the BE-DO-GET.  At all levels in the company, let’s think about the model in reverse.  What results do we want to achieve? What will we do to achieve those results? How will we behave? How can we take personal responsibility for getting where we want to?

Some initial thoughts:

  • Be appreciative of specific actions that have led to positive results. Remember that what we focus on grows!
  • If you see something that isn’t quite working, find a way to flag it in the knowledge that the feedback will be well-received and acted upon.
  • Embrace the use of remote platforms for video-conferencing and recognise the valuable listening practice this method gives you.

Remembering that our behaviours as an organisation drive the beliefs our customers hold about us, how do we want to be?   

 Written by David Crossland | Head of Organisation Development | Jersey Electricity plc

Read David Crossland’s other blog on Covid-19 here