The coronavirus pandemic is upending workplace culture and creating a climate of fear, confusion and uncertainty for employees. It probably comes as no surprise that those aren’t the best conditions for innovation and creativity, and it certainly doesn’t drive a sense of belonging amongst your employees.
No matter what industry you’re in or how big your workforce is, it’s a safe bet your employees are currently dealing with some combination of surging front-line demands; furloughs, pay cuts and layoffs; or the struggles of adapting to remote work. And survey after survey is revealing how employees feel about this change in work and workplace culture.
Spoiler alert: It’s not good.
In other words, your employees are already telling themselves a scary, discouraging, demotivating story about how this pandemic is going. And when you add the loneliness of “social distancing” and the worst economic slump since the Great Depression… well, it’s no wonder so many people are feeling disconnected, afraid for their jobs and less productive.
As a leader, you need to help your employees tell a new story – a story that supports them in feeling connected, safe, resilient and able to rise to whatever challenges your organization is facing.
Fortunately, that story already exists! In our own work and lives, each of us has already experienced moments of connection, of safety, of resilience and triumph – and we’re living new moments like this every day. Reconnecting to those experiences is all it takes to reset our fear circuits and start telling a new, more hopeful story. One with a happy ending.
But powerful workplace storytelling doesn’t just happen on its own. That’s why we’re building the Avanoo StoryApp – a mobile app that makes it easy for employees to share the kinds of stories that will carry your organization forward. It’s based on everything we’ve learned in the last seven years helping organizations like Google and Kaiser Permanente build and sustain great cultures through storytelling, and it’s free through the end of May.
Check out our eBook Using Stories to Support Connection & Belonging During the COVID-19 Crisis to discover how you can sustain your organization’s culture through the challenges ahead.
StoryApp is designed to be the easiest and most effective way to change the story about how the future of this pandemic will go. But however you do it, the key is to recognize the power of the stories your team is already carrying within themselves. Because when we’re living and working in a climate of fear, it’s more important than ever to create and sustain a work culture that connects, reassures and supports employees to perform at their highest levels.
Couldn’t we use some good news for a change?
—Ted Burnham, Avanoo Lead Content Marketer
Ted Burnham loves the power of words – to tell stories, explain big ideas, and help people connect. He is a writer, editor, multimedia producer, storyteller, and “professional combobulator”. Ted’s work has appeared on NPR, Popular Science, and elsewhere.
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