It has been ten months since the COVID-19 virus closed businesses and sent the world’s economies into a recession. And the pandemic has caused thousands of businesses to close their doors. Of the businesses that have remained open—most have had to reduce staff and reassign the remaining staff’s roles to maintain production and customer service.
The reassignment of workplace roles can be challenging. Many of us desperately crave change at work, and yet we are uncomfortable and terrified when it occurs.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”– H. P. Lovecraft.
Along with a fear of the unknown, change also brings the fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, and even the fear of success. Each has its consequences.
Role reassignment can mean taking on entirely new tasks or additional responsibilities. It helps if employees had been cross-trained before the pandemic instead of a baptism by fire. However, cross-training is one of those checklist items that are often discussed but rarely implemented due to the pressures of maintaining operational deadlines.
“Approximately 40-50% of employees don’t think they’re equipped to do their current job because of how quickly technology is changing,” according to Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. This often leads to employees feeling like they do not have the right skills to be qualified to take on new or different responsibilities.
In truth, credentials do not matter as much anymore. It is all about competencies that one possesses to be able to work. Those who take on more work or changing roles need to learn to embrace technology.
Mentoring is key to the successful transitioning of responsibilities. Management must communicate the need, purpose, tasks involved, and set goals for the new position. Be available to answer questions but let employees be creative in their approach.
The economic pain caused by COVID-19 has affected hundreds of millions of workers. Some industries have been affected more than others. Whatever the industry or business, there is one clear commonality—the only sustainable business advantage is rooted in harnessing the passion, skills, capabilities, judgment, and creativity people bring to their work.
The organizations of the future are taking shape in the moves that companies are now making during this pandemic. Some companies say they won’t go back.
Whether an employee is reassigned to a new role or taking on additional responsibilities, one thing is clear—transitions take time and patience. Business News Daily gives excellent advice on Strategies for Successful Employee Transition.
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