These are uncertain times but what is certain right now is that everyone is layered in their own unique set of challenges. The current situation means that we all have different things to consider, all at the same time, probably for the first time ever. And what adds to this melting pot is the fact that our usual channels of support are vastly diminished through the need for isolation. This is where the brand new, free of charge, virtual HR Agenda comes in to play.
I was watching clients struggling with the constantly changing situation of Coronavirus, trying to work out what to do, how to do what’s best for their people, how to communicate openly and honestly in a situation that is evolving incredibly quickly. What is the case today might not be relevant tomorrow - we found that out as different sectors were told to close. A carefully crafted business continuity plan that made perfect sense on Thursday became much needed loo roll by Friday.
Any HR leader will tell you that it's a lonely place at the best of times when everyone turns to you for answers. Factor in a pandemic of escalating proportions and it has never been truer. HR people are having to lead the change in dealing with sensitive, difficult and complex situations. If you are a stand alone HR person, or in a business where you are leading it, it can make you feel vulnerable.
So I started the virtual HR Agenda last week with our first session taking place this week. There were just 4 of us, HR leaders, on a Zoom call, in total confidentiality, sharing concerns. It was absolutely fantastic. We're 'meeting' again next week. The way it worked was that each person had 15 minutes to air their specific issue or worry and the others were able to take it in turns to suggest what they would do, using their experience. They were very different discussions on a variety of topics. Also, stepping outside the business helped everyone think more objectively.
"really good connecting with people who know what needs to be done"
On the subject of isolation (is there any other?), people are struggling with working from home, especially those who are usually well supported with a network of services and support within a larger organisation. The natural introverts will be coping much better than those more gregarious types who crave company - spare a thought for their families!
And as we are all different, so are the companies we support and the people within them. This is a time with a lot of moving parts and you can learn a lot from the behaviour of the people you are trying to help. At one end of the scale you have those who are 100% committed to the business, keeping it going, doing what is needed and facing a few uncomfortable moments along the way. Then you have those who are looking after themselves first and foremost and are looking for the easiest option. And everything in between! It is a really difficult, scary time.
It's so important to stay connected right now, however you usually work with others. Checking in with other freelancers or joining group meetings. Whatever is available - take it! You can still make appointments to take part in webinars or even online exercise sessions. Staying in touch will help your well-being in so many ways.
I am also part of a freelance community who are all struggling to support their clients through this whilst also worrying about their own businesses. Add to this personal concerns about family, friends and the state of the nation and you can see what I mean about each of us being in a unique situation.
If you'd like to join our next, new, small group, register your interest HERE and we'll invite you along. It's free and you might just feel all the better for it.