Lessons from Nature: Coming Back After COVID Stronger, Better & More Resilient
April 8, 2021
Fireweed is the first plant to grow back after a forest fire. It is beautiful, resilient and has a purpose. Just as nature’s emergent leader shows its brilliance on a transformed alpine landscape, today’s best corporate leaders have the opportunity to shine in a moment of transition.
“We won’t be coming back to the same companies or workforce we left before the pandemic and that’s not a bad thing. It’s critical to acknowledge that workers may be experiencing a range of emotions about returning to work that include relieved and excited or scared and anxious. The first step in building the next evolution of your company is to honor the new reality of the present moment and be ready to launch your post-pandemic culture with thoughtfulness and intention.” ~ Tara Powers, CEO
Just as a devastating forest fire or harsh winter alters an alpine landscape, so has the pandemic, lockdown, and remote working changed our world forever. The company and culture you left a year ago will not be the same one when you return to the office. You might experience a new physical environment or an altered social and emotional reality.
Alpine Fireweed receives its moniker as the first plant to grow back after a landscape-altering event. This captivating wildflower not only thrives in colonizing, but helps to prevent further erosion and attracts pollinators and animal foragers critical for rehabilitating the land. What might have appeared as scarred and destroyed is miraculously transformed into signs of rebirth.
As teams consider a new reality in returning to work, this transitional moment offers an opportunity to create a healthier, more inclusive and connected corporate culture. By recognizing and embracing the losses faced over the past year as a chance to start anew, you can launch a revitalized team, eager to come together in a more productive, agile way. Teams have a chance to shed old patterns and destructive behaviors by incorporating new ways of conducting business.
Here are five strategies for reinvigorating your team IRL (in real life):
- Work together as a team to redesign your workspace and expand opportunities for interaction, collaboration and working side by side;
- Engage in regular and consistent team building to create space for honest, authentic conversations and having FUN together;
- Set shorter-term goals together as a team and recognize small wins regularly during the week;
- Initially, allow team members to focus on one to two high-priority tasks rather than expecting them multi-task several projects at once; and
- Celebrate human connection by having “appreciation circles” and discussing what you appreciate about one another.
By embracing the example of nature’s natural patterns and creating a space for growth and connection, you can make your return to the office a positive transition and a clear reason why it’s good to be back together in person.
At PRC, our passion is creating a culture of connection by developing engaged, emotionally intelligent leaders and truly cohesive teams. Our unique expertise and programs are designed to meet the needs of both fully remote and hybrid teams, and provide critical tools for this moment.
Check out our Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification that delivers a comprehensive, easily customizable workplace development solution to engage every employee—regardless of title or position, department or function—in building more productive and effective relationships at work. This powerful assessment tool will help guide your teams toward deeper levels of connection and increase productivity during their transition back to the office. Visit our website for upcoming certification dates.