Experts fear that there will be a huge job cut even if the world gets back to normal after fighting coronavirus. After the pandemic comes to an end, it will be like a new beginning for the job aspirants. As you step into a new situation, you may initially feel happy as there will be no fear of the virus. Unfortunately for many, the euphoria will not be accompanied with any concrete set of plans. As a result, it will take only a week for all the positivity to evaporate. This is sad and doesn’t have to be like this if we approach it in a structured way.
Your strategies in the new reality will be similar to those that you adopt in the beginning of a new year. That’s why let’s metaphorically compare the situation after coronavirus pandemic with the beginning of a new year. As you strategies for the new-year, the first thing you should do is to look back at the previous year only to understand where you went wrong in terms of falling short of what you had aspired to achieve. Look closely into the factors that led you astray last year (or before the pandemic situation) and figure out what you could have done differently.While you are planning for the new-year (or a changed world), it is better to keep your expectations at a realistic level, otherwise, you will get demoralized very easily with even a small failure. It’s very difficult to pick yourself up when you have set unrealistic expectations.
The crucial part, however, in the planning process, is that you need to give yourself room to think creatively. This may mean that you revisit your strategy and tweak it here and there to make it workable for the new context. Recycling strategy with a fresh twist works wonders in many cases.
In a corporate setting, when you are leading a team, new-years (or a new beginning) are always a great occasion to motivate your team-mates. Try to use this opportunity to dissect the team’s strengths and weaknesses to channel its creative energy into the right direction. This is always a good time to reflect on what didn’t go right as a team last year (or before the pandemic), so that those things are not repeated.
Once you have the team raring to go, pay a close attention at the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the team as well as the individual team-members; see if more can be achieved by changing the definition of the existing KPIs or by adding new set of KPIs for the team. Enhanced performance monitoring framework in the form of increased frequency of team meetings, KPI dashboard, balanced score card, operational review meetings have been proven to yield results.
Once you set your KPIs for the year with your supervisor, you can share a written document detailing how you plan to achieve what has been set for you to achieve in the new situation. This helps both, you, and your supervisor; it shows your commitment to your job as well helps you to remain focused.
There are always a few things, seen or unforeseen that derail us from our planned deliverables. It is wise to try to pre-empt them and develop a contingency plan so that you are on top of things even when you struggle to meet a KPI or a personal goal. Once a contingency is developed, get your supervisor on-board with the alternative plan to avoid any surprises which may result in disputes over your performance assessment.You can plan all you want but what is most important is to believe in yourself. You will be challenged to your limit, there is no doubt about it, no matter how much you have planned. But as long as you firmly believe in yourself, you will get through all the trials of life. So, don’t hold yourself back in face of challenges; unleash the person within you to surmount all challenges.
(The writer is an HR professional.)