How do I engage my staff after Covid?
I hear it daily. I feel stuck. Stuck at home. Stuck in my head. Stuck in business. This unmovable feeling is not just physical – it is mental and emotional. We saw the world freeze in the last few months and now, as we all try to thaw and re-engage, I feel the difficulty of getting into the routine I once had. I hear from clients, prospects, colleagues, and peers – they just can’t find the momentum to engage. But to me, the issue right now is not finding momentum, but needing a change in inertia.
The law of inertia states that objects at rest want to stay at rest and objects in motion want to stay in motion. Today’s uncertain times have caused us to slow down or stop both personally and professionally. Now we’re trying to figure out how to get back on track and get moving. It’s tough. It’s tough because we are stuck in our heads. Telling ourselves the next step is too big, too scary, too pointless to move. So how do you change inertia? Use the Force. If you have Jedi powers great – but for the rest of us, we need to create outside force in order to break through that inertia and start moving.
Here are five Inertia Busters to get you and your employees to engage:
Create A Rhythm
2020 has been a whirlwind and as such our rhythm has been majorly disrupted. To interrupt inertia, it is important that we re-create what our rhythm looks and feels like. To start, differentiate work from personal time. Start your workday in your ‘work mode clothes’. Work in a specific area of the house, or find a safe, socially distanced area out of the house to change your mindset. Another way is to practice head to toe self-care by getting a haircut or starting a new skin care routine.
Another part of creating a rhythm is making sure the beat fits your lifestyle. As humans, we have a tendency to overcorrect. An example of this is saying I’m going to go cold turkey and do something big to get the life I always imagined. The truth is, if you couldn’t maintain that type of rhythm before chances are you won’t be able to maintain that rhythm now.
That is not to say change is impossible. Start with something small that you can build upon. Simple changes will enable you to start creating those rhythms, or little rituals that mark the separation of your personal and professional time.
Short Term Goals
Keep your goals small – like clearing your inbox daily or waking up 15 minutes earlier to stretch. Consider what are you going to accomplish in the next week and the next month. We often overestimate what we can get done in a year, and we underestimate what we can get done in a month. So, put together small goals that you can accomplish in a week, two weeks, or a month. Make sure your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Nothing beats inertia like being accountable for your goals. Once you’ve established your SMART goals, present the plan to a trusted friend or co-worker. And have them do the same! If you are implementing accountability partners for your staff, mix up the teams from different departments, roles, and thinking styles. These Inertia Buster teams help create lasting change and positive culture shifts in your organization.
Every day you exert effort you are closer to accomplishing your goal. It is so important to recognize each other for getting something done, especially as you start changing inertia. Not every goal needs to be climbing Mt. Everest. Acknowledge the small wins, you never know when they will build to something bigger.
Live a life of gratitude – be grateful for the people and experiences you have professionally and personally. Right now, people are struggling in all aspects of life. Make it a daily habit to appreciate the people in your life – your family, friends, peers, and clients. Tell them how grateful you are that they are a part of your life. Taking the opportunity to show a little gratitude will come back to you sevenfold.
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