We are all feeling our way in the dark with COVID-19. We scramble for new supplies. More supplies. Stretch supplies. Ration supplies. We review our systems and purchase what we think will protect us, as long as the supply chain hasn’t broken down and others haven’t beat us to it. We seek new machinery and tools. IT resources are stretched thin. Networks struggle to support the unprecedented load from all of us who are suddenly working and schooling from home.
All of this is true. However, all of these things, as important as they are, inappropriately receive the vast majority of our focus. These considerations miss the most important aspect: PEOPLE. Without people supplies are pointless. Without people machines and tools sit lifeless. Without people all the bandwidth in the world cannot make systems work. Without people we fail.
The acknowledgement of people, however, isn’t simply another cog in the machinery to make the wheel turn. People ARE the wheel. If your people feel as though they are perceived as a tool, or a service requirement that allows slots to be filled and shifts covered, rather than cared for as a valuable human being, the wheel won’t turn. Your people must feel you sincerely desire to be “with” them in their uncertainty, “with” them in their fear, and “with” them in their struggles. This will allow them to feel recognized as the valuable asset they truly are and desire to share that value by making the wheel turn.
Focus on supporting your wheel and it will turn without prodding.