R3 Continuum Playbook: Proactively Preparing the Workplace for the Next Normal
Shane McNally of R3 Continuum addresses the “next normal,” noting that while it might be different for everyone, normal is never static. Shane outlines key steps employers can take in preparing the workplace for employees to return to the physical workspace. The R3 Continuum Playbook is presented by R3 Continuum and is produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®. R3 Continuum is the underwriter of Workplace MVP, the show which celebrates heroes in the workplace.
Shane McNally: [00:00:00] Broadcasting from the Business RadioX Studios, here is your R3 Continuum Playbook. Brought to you by Workplace MVP sponsor R3 Continuum, a global leader in workplace behavioral health, crisis and security solutions.
Shane McNally: [00:00:13] Hi there. My name is Shane McNally, Marketing Specialist at R3 Continuum. Today, I wanted to share some information on proactively preparing your workplace for the next normal. This information is provided by R3 Continuum’s Vice President of Crisis Response Clinical Services Jeff Gorter, as well as R3 Continuum’s Medical Director, Dr. George Vergolias, and Senior Vice President Hart Brown.
Shane McNally: [00:00:37] I remember when I was told that I’d be working from home for two weeks at the beginning of 2020. I never would have expected any of what we’ve all gone through over the course of the last year and a half. While nobody can tell the future, many organizations ran into the challenge of being unprepared for handling a crisis situation. With the vaccines being largely distributed throughout the United States, many employers are just excited to go back to some sense of normal in the coming months.
Shane McNally: [00:01:04] But what if there’s more to it than that? What if instead of having something return back to normal, organizations instead proactively prepared for the next normal? There’s a distinct difference between the terms new normal and next normal. The phrase ‘new normal’ is used often but has a very passive or reactive connotation. It’s taking a wait-and-see approach, waiting to see how everything settles, and then adjusting to it; while the phrase “next normal” is more proactive and recognizes that normal, whatever your definition for that is, is never a static or fixed point, meaning there’s always room for change and what was once considered normal will likely not be considered that in the future.
Shane McNally: [00:01:53] Wise leaders try to anticipate and shape the next change, looking for opportunities or market advantages. To put it bluntly, it’s the difference between riding the wave or getting caught in the tide. Here are some tips that can help leaders shape the next normal for their organizations. First, celebrate the victories, if your company is still standing after the pandemic, it means that you and your team have done thousands of things right to get to this point. Celebrate that. So many of us have been living one day at a time that we’ve forgotten what we had to do to survive and even thrive throughout the pandemic. Remember your first Zoom meeting with your newly remote team? Remember the production and operational experiments that you tried before landing on a workable adaptation? Remember how you got through the great toilet paper shortage of 2020? Take a second to honor those efforts and be generous in recognizing the efforts of others.
Shane McNally: [00:02:52] Next, resist complacency. While all of us are hoping for a moment to catch our breath and just enjoy whatever post-COVID stability emerges, the reality is that life probably won’t respect that desire. Leaders have to be thinking about the future and encouraging that same approach with their teams. Which leads to the third point, embrace your weakness. By embrace, I don’t mean accept or approve of it, I mean openly acknowledge and avoid avoiding it. This sounds simple, but many leaders, particularly after just coming off the crisis for the last 18 months, may have a natural tendency to want to steer clear of this kind of vulnerable exploration, at least for a little while. A thorough and clear eyed risk assessment is crucial at this stage.
Shane McNally: [00:03:42] Finally, adopt an all-hazards approach for your organization, if you haven’t already. For many of us, we’ve gotten pretty good at adapting and managing the demands of COVID on our business. Maybe, we even have a little justifiable swagger, if you will. The trouble is, everyone is an expert at the last crisis. But what about the next totally unexpected and utterly unique crisis? No one can anticipate every possible threat, but having an all-hazards approach leads an organization to invest in plans, policies and procedures that get them about 80 percent ready for anything, with the understanding that the other 20 percent has to be devised once the crisis is known.
Shane McNally: [00:04:26] One way of adopting an all-hazards approach is through your organization security and safety program. Security programs have been around for a while, and they’re often thought of as a means of protecting company assets. However, security programs are constantly evolving. They no longer only cover company assets, but they also help make employees safe, secure and comfortable. Through improving the overall well-being of employees, security programs help to boost productivity, and in turn, benefit both the employees and the organization.
Shane McNally: [00:05:02] Just like I mentioned with the all-hazards approach, the key to a good security program involves having proper procedures and policies in place, as well as the knowledge to recognize how the program is implemented throughout the company. The training, the company culture, the employees and how potential risks are conveyed all play a role in the success of a company’s security program. Security programs are also a good way to improve the relationship with other services that your organization may utilize, such as employee assistance programs, otherwise known as EAWs, risk management and insurance services to help protect your organization through any disruptions that occur, your company HR program, which can help in providing training, evaluations and policies for the organization, as well as the company’s security team.
Shane McNally: [00:05:53] Well, the stress and struggle over the last 18 months has been undeniably painful and gut wrenching for so many of us. There is a window of opportunity right now to begin to recognize and celebrate all that we collectively have done to survive and even thrive in the face of COVID-19. In no way is this dismissing or minimizing the grief caused by the pandemic. It’s more to reiterate the power of the human spirit to rise to the challenge of this moment and even rise above. Post-traumatic growth is a very real. And perhaps now, as we see signs of hope on the horizon, it’s a good time to take stock and reflect on those thousands of things we did, big and small, to exercise our resilience and cope through the chaos.
Shane McNally: [00:06:39] It’s no longer a question of if we can get through this. We are getting through this and we’ll continue to reclaim more of our lives as we move ahead together. And that is worth celebrating. As organizations begin to look to the future. Remember not to settle into the new normal, but rather prepare and plan for the next normal. Ensure you’re taking that proactive approach to maintaining the psychological and physical safety of your employees. R3 Continuum can help. Our tailored services can assist organizations with crisis prevention and preparedness, crisis response and recovery and more. You can learn more about our custom services and contact us at www.r3c.com or email us directly by emailing email@example.com.
R3 Continuum (R3c) is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
R3 Continuum is the underwriter of Workplace MVP, a show which celebrates the everyday heroes–Workplace Most Valuable Professionals–in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite who resolutely labor for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption.