We previously covered our journey through the first stage of this situation, grasping the situation, or shock, and how to move the global mobility needs of an organization through it. Our next stop along the COVID-19 curve is a fear stage. Fear often stems from a lack of control and needing to navigate the unknown. In the current global situation and economic downturn there can be feelings of fear.
Much of personal fear is triggered by a lack of information and control and, at the same time, navigating impactful decisions for family, business, and oneself. In a corporate state of fear, employees seek assurance from their company to include a focus on their well-being and their ongoing safety. And, employee-centric companies are stepping up to the need.
At this stage in the curve, there are still many questions from employees and the business that mobility teams need to answer. By now you may have categorized the myriad of questions that have come your way, which enables you to bring order to the confusion.
As a mobility and/or HR department, you’ve already been answering immediate questions and providing information based on your current disaster or business continuity response plan. Moving through this stage, it’s critical to begin providing targeted and specific information and helping your business and employees feel a sense of certainty and control, especially as facts and information continue to emerge or change.
You are moving from responding on a case-by-case basis to a structured communication approach. You will also leverage multifunctional response teams that include internal stakeholders and external partners.
As part of creating emotional and psychological comfort, the fear stage relies heavily on corporate knowledge as well as cross-functional connection across your organization and at your key vendors to provide targeted resources that create education, understanding, and some semblance of comfort and reassurance.
As a mobility or HR professional, you are on the front line acting not only as a business resource but sometimes as a counselor and personal adviser. The reality is, while you’re helping allay the fears of others, your team members may have fears of their own.
As a team, this is also a time to work closely together to ensure you have the comfort and reassurance you all need to be resources for each other. Airline safety briefings say it best: you have to put the oxygen mask on first before you can help others.