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Busy. Too Busy. Just Right. A COVID-19-Influenced Take on ‘Goldilocks & The Three Bears’

You may remember from your childhood the tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” If your recall is fuzzy as, more likely than not, it’s been a long time since anyone read you a bedtime story, let me provide a highly condensed retelling. A young girl named Goldilocks takes a long walk in the forest. She comes upon a house in the woods. Since she’s tired and hungry, the girl walks in and finds three bowls of porridge. Without giving it a thought, she samples each bowl; finding one too hot, the next too cold, and the third just right. It goes on from there but it makes a point about the situation we’re facing with so many of us working from home because of COVID-19.

By: Gal Rimon, Founder & CEO, Centrical

Busy. Too Busy. Just Right. A COVID-19-Influenced Take on ‘Goldilocks & The Three Bears’

You may remember from your childhood the tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” If your recall is fuzzy as, more likely than not, it’s been a long time since anyone read you a bedtime story, let me provide a highly condensed retelling. A young girl named Goldilocks takes a long walk in the forest. She comes upon a house in the woods. Since she’s tired and hungry, the girl walks in and finds three bowls of porridge. Without giving it a thought, she samples each bowl; finding one too hot, the next too cold, and the third just right. It goes on from there but it makes a point about the situation we’re facing with so many of us working from home because of COVID-19.

Before the pandemic drove us to work from home, we operated in environments marked by lots of human interaction. Managers communicated with their teams in group settings and with individual members in informal and formal one-on-one exchanges.

It was kind of an ecosystem that allowed everyone to know what was going on, who was doing what as well as doing too much or too little. Further, managers could “eye-ball” how members of the team were progressing, or not. This proximity made it easy for employees to seek counsel or coaching from managers in ways that enhanced productivity in mere moments. Asking a question, seeking confirmation or even permission, unlike Goldilocks, was quick and nearly effortless.

Those were among the dynamics of a normal workday that we enjoyed and benefited from. Unfortunately, because of today’s health crisis, for most people, the workday is anything but normal. In fact, we are very much experiencing a new normal, one that may last well after COVID-19 has been brought under control and the term “shelter in place” is limited to mean taking cover during a bad storm.

In the current circumstance, it is virtually impossible to actually see if employees working from home are diligently on the job, tackling their priorities, and doing it all without undo stress and strain. By extension, there might be some people who take advantage of being out of sight.

While being able to monitor engagement, a digital watchdog isn’t sufficient. Employees do not just work work work. And if they do, managers’ should intervene. Typically, employees reflect on what they’ve done and, more often than not, seek feedback from their managers on how they performed. So, obviously, there needs to be communication that is bi-directional and allows for managers to understand who is busy, too busy, or just right in a kind of Goldilocks construct.

Recognizing that your organization shut-down its office-based operations and told employees to operate from their homes in the proverbial blink of an eye, the capability to have cross-channel communications, build and maintain engagement as well as motivate employees with recognition and rewards mechanisms was probably not in-place. If that’s the case, the thought of it taking time – too much time – will be front and center in the minds of those who’d need to get it going.

However, there is something that can be operational, across your entire organization in less than a week – possibly in just 24 hours. A capability that helps to keep everyone feeling connected with the company, their managers, and their teams so they feel engaged and, consequently, accountable.

Let me add, it lets you rapidly reskill or realign to unforeseen changes in goals and workload. And, since I already cited the importance of communications to subdue the sense of isolation that comes from suddenly working, well, in isolation, it keeps employees engaged and aligned with frequent updates on the business, their teams, and, importantly, how they’re doing in personalized messages.

It’s called Centrical Connect and it’s available now. It can be serving your entire organization in a week or less. Read more about it here. It’s just right for our times.

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