Let’s put it this way, crises do not last forever; in fact, we are simply managing things until it returns to normal. Normalcy is coming? Absolutely, but it is a different normal because a lot will have changed by the end of this crisis. We will all have learnt many things we didn’t know before or at last we will pay closer attention to aspects of our lives and work we have always taken for granted.

So, let’s assume the worst!!

It has taken China close to five months to curb the spread of the disease and they aren’t quite done yet but we can see the signs of recovery. That is the good news. If we consider the worst-case scenario, the current situation could last for anything from three to five months. It follows that we must find ways to continue with business and deliver the needed goods and services as circumstances allow.

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At an individual level, we still need to make money, even though it may be less than before.
Kenya Airways has chosen to deal with the current situation by deferring salary payments for staff including offering unpaid leave. Other companies will likely follow their lead with similar or exact measures to weather the storm. These are the avenues they will need to make it through and be around to rebuild and spring back to productivity after the storm.

Additionally, these are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures. It behooves that employees fully support their leaders and think of how to respond to the times. They must find ways to fully support the process and give ideas of how to work together to get through the hard times. Employees need to evaluate and adjust their attitude to work and employment, be more accommodating, unlearn previous behaviour patterns and learn new behaviour patterns to make it easier for them and their organisation to overcome the crisis.

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As an employee, consider the following:

  1. Your employer is relying heavily on you to cooperate and do your best to keep the business afloat for as long as possible.
    2. You may have to accept lower or deferred payment just like the case of Kenya Airways.
    3. Though you are working from home, be faithful to execute your tasks to the best of your abilities with minimal supervision and exceptional discipline.
    4. Retain the quality of your service high if not at 100%.
    5. Where possible, use technology to collaborate with team members through virtual meetings,make decisions and deliver on key tasks and goals as if you are still working in the same space.
    6. Let your ability to perform be the least of your supervisor’s concerns at this time
    7. Find fun as you experiment and learn new ways of working and meeting timelines in this season
    An idea of fun would be a lunch conference all with your team or a few colleagues in your informal work group or even with your boss. Connect online as you each eat your favourite home cooked meal, share your dealings in this season including struggles and find strength in each other’s company.

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The list of attitude and behaviour adjustment to learn and remain productive in this season is endless. There are key elements to consider. Avoid blaming your manager and leaders for decisions and avoid slacking on the job when no one is watching. Instead, be the one to offer suggestions and solutions, do your best work and follow your organisations information flow to know what is required from you.
In conclusion, the key thing is to ensure we are all willing to cooperate, learn, collaborate and give our best for the good of our organisation and ourselves with the promising of rising stronger on the other side of the storm.

Dr. Antony Mburu
Organisation Development and Change Management Consultant