The State of Michigan has made progress in reducing the exponential growth of COVID-19, on flattening the curve. That said, many of your employees will eventually get the virus, a few will get very sick and, sadly, by this time next year, one or more employees or their immediate family member will not survive.

Those who take the risk, you, to run a business have a streak of optimism; you must have a view that the future holds something over today…or you would have already opted to be someone else’s employee. (Side note: yes, that thought still comes and goes but you haven’t left yet.)

There is always an underlying theme of change. Almost no one wants change told to and done to them. Sure, a few like to make and choose change but that’s not COVID-19. That’s not coming to grips with local police over-exercising power and even killing. No matter what you think about either, resistance is futile.

These thoughts have implications. An unbridled presumption that ‘this coronavirus thing is basically over so let’s move on,’ will likely lead to you missing some opportunity to grow. Another something will blindside you or the organization causing yet another crushing setback – only then there will be no communal sense of shared pain or government assistance. You risk being left behind.

Equally true: there is no, one solution. Some companies have declared, ‘no in-person meetings till the summer of 2021.’ Another, ‘no one back in the building until January.’ Clearly, barbers, biologists, manufacturers, and on do need to work in-person and/or have physical stuff that isn’t moving home to the basement or bedroom.

Yet can you imagine “normal” being walking through the building with the assumption that 30 to 70% of the team are working remote? Can you imagine no meeting, ever happening again without half the group on video? A few companies have already declared, ‘formal meetings are 100% video’ and, as COVID responses allow, focus face-time on informal interactions and check-ins. Again, there is no, single way forward. Some orgs are now or will return to 100% on-site, in-person. But is that your future?

Are you aware that people sciences show ‘all-hands’ meetings lasting a whole day or more are much less effective if learning is a primary goal? (No to mention, they are very expensive.) Do you know managers tend to spend less time with staff who are remote but for teams to be equally productive (aligned, on-task, motivated, overcoming problems, getting the right results done), it requires more intentional effort on the part of managers? It may not require more time but their efforts must be more informed by science, more conscious in mind and more frequent in contact.

Is Michigan HR Group prepared to lead you through all this? Lead? No. Don’t believe any consultant who says they have this figured out. There are voices who are wisely thinking about the world in new ways. We can point you, we can partner on the journey, we can lead in select ways. Asking for help is prudent.

The best advice I can offer today is:  Do not long for January 2020. Do not assume the best is yet to come quickly. You are leading yourself, caring for your family, shaping an organization, building the community.

It can be a good journey. So be filled with grace and truth.

-Scott Trossen, Founder and Principal Consultant