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Welcome Back To Your Comfort Zone

by Todd Horton on June 26, 2020

The KangoGift team is a multinational one.  When we have our regular meetings one thing we end up discussing a lot is how this is the summer that really isn’t.  We have no baseball here in the states and there are no football leagues throughout Europe to help pass the time.  We can’t talk about the latest blockbuster or superhero movie. There is a global confusion moving around us. We keep asking “what’s going on?” 

I also find that when I am talking to the Global  HR leaders they ask me what’s going on?  They really want to know what I am hearing from other organizations and industry thought leaders.  What I am telling them is that at the high level, it’s not surprising what I am hearing.  But when you drill down that is both surprising and reassuring. 

What I am hearing is: 

  • Human resources managers feel overwhelmed and like they are running a marathon with no clear finish line
  • They have lots of data but probably don’t have the right type of information
  • They believe that they are getting control but not in ways many realize

These are 3 fascinating concepts so let me give you some more detail 

 

Human resources managers feel completely overwhelmed --

The fact remains that no matter what has happened they have tremendous tells at their disposal to successfully manage the now and prepare for the future. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring for HR. I listen to the same news as everyone else and it seems if you ask two “experts” about what will happen next you get 3 answers. 

I’ve been saying this to everyone and it’s that the productivity tools that made your life so much easier are still there.  You need to remember that, take the proverbial deep breath and start moving ahead.  Survival is not enough any more. You need to thrive. ‘

They have lots of data but probably don’t have the right type of information--Analysis paralysis is a term most of us know and that’s what is really going on in a lot of the organizations KangoGift does business with.  They are so afraid of missing something, so they analyze everything which results in nothing of value being discovered

So right now since we’re so afraid of missing something we need to step back, catch our breath and decide what we want to find.  The best way to answer that is by going to the same people we have been going to all along: the line managers. Now is the time for thoughtful questioning to return and, to a large extent, we need to start asking the same questions we were asking before everything started to get crazy. Those things are questions we should be asking all the time and we shouldn’t start now.  Those are the questions that will drive the organization and ensure its success and viability. 

Use data to get insights. Then communicate employee impact. Keep it simple and clear and meaningful. 

They believe they are starting to get control but may not realize it--It’s a common thing when I am talking to HR executives.  I hear, “Todd we’re doing this and we’re doing that and we’re still not in control.”  I find myself saying, “if you’re doing those things that means you ARE in control.”  Right now with movie theaters, restaurants and libraries, among other things closed there is a false impression that we are spiraling out of control into a scary new world.  . 

But when I talk to people on whatever platform they are using I see the same old dynamic I see in the office.  Yes it’s a different environment that is completely different from the start of the pandemic.  I see the same things I saw before and the same issues and challenges as well as the same opportunities and successes.  The fact remains that while we’re doing things differently, we’ve got it under control. 

So here are a few things I want to suggest:

  • First  take a big breath and remember that you have this.  The foundations have been shaken, you’re still there, start looking ahead.
  • Human resources managers have access to the same tools that they did before the pandemic.  The functional aspects of your job are still there.  All you need to do is remember what you did that made your life easier and go out and do it some more. 
  • You are in control now. I know it may seem like a whole new world and, to some extent, it is.  But you have just adapted how you work and are now basically working the same way you did when you were sitting a cube apart. 

Take away this one final thing from me please.  From everything I am hearing when talking to people for KangoGift I am hearing that a new, permanent style of working is what’s happening. Many organizations have finally realized they are in a place where they need to be for both the near and far term.  You’re actually doing a lot better than you think so take that  deep breath and get back to what you did great before the middle of March. 

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