When faced with change and uncertainty, how can internal communicators help organisations make the most of the modern workplace? And what does the impact of COVID-19 tell us about the psychology of work and how can we apply the new world order to best effect?
These questions were answered by Deborah Hulme, founder of Minerva Engagement, at the latest Sequel Presents webinar: Adapting to change, the psychology of work and helping employees feel motivated. An expert in neuroscience, Deborah explored the relationship between psychological safety and employee experience (EX).
“Recent change has knocked us sideways,” Deborah explains in her introduction. “It’s brought in a level of uncertainty we’re not used to. We need to create a new psychological contract between employees and employers.”
Deborah goes on to say that to do this we need to consider mindset. “At work, we act as if our emotional self is left at the door and everyone in an organisation is responding rationally. And we know now from neuroscience that’s just not true. We need to be aware that we spend most of our time in our emotional selves.”
And this is particularly important for leaders. “I think there’s an opportunity to clarify what we mean by leadership. Of course, leaders need to know the ins and outs of their profession, but they really need to have the ability to care for and motivate their employees in a time of crisis. There needs to be a real shift from ‘command and control’, and greater understanding of the 24/7 responsibilities that come with leadership.”
Finally, Deborah outlines a three-step change model: creating a toward state, facilitating new connections and embedding new ways of thinking. “It takes effort to create new habits,” she explains. “Keep it simple and focus on one or two things you want to change. If you try to do too much, you won’t do anything.”
Find out more about neuroscience and the implications for organisations with these resources.