The 2016 election was perhaps the most stressful in our history, with women and minorities especially feeling anxiety. Hate crimes, violence and incidents are rising. The mental health implications are clearly severe, and more incivility in the workplace can reasonably be anticipated.
Many healthcare workers may fear being caught up in a wave of deportations. It has been estimated that 11 million people could be deported, at a cost of 100 to 300 billion dollars.
A lot to worry about! But what do organizations do when times are difficult and uncertainty is high? Sadly, they tend to freeze up. They defer action until “things are clearer”. They don’t see or ignore the warning signs. The result can be disastrous.
Yet the more unsure the situation is, the greater the need for planning. The more potential problems, the more leaders need to be proactive.
Healthy organizations have strategic plans and will be revising those to reflect that different scenarios that may occur in 2017. Wise leaders will use this process as a tool to involve employees and stakeholders in coping with stressful times. Safe, authentic, respectful conversations can be incredibly powerful in healing relationships, engaging staff, and creative problem-solving.
Healthcare leaders in particular need to be seen as ensuring the safety and well-being of those in their care and of their employees. They need to act now before fighting breaks out, the government comes to take away employees, or protest movements invade their space.
Leaders must realize that they may not be aware of what people are thinking and worrying about. They need to conduct new assessments of customers and employees and to have channels for open and effective communication among all levels. In particular, they must recognize that nurses are on the front lines of such potential conflict situations.
–Jim Murphy has a solo consulting practice called Management 3000, focusing on organizational development and change management. Being semi-retired, Jim is willing to provide very reasonably priced consulting, coaching or project work for organizations aspiring to improvement in organizational culture, effectiveness and employee engagement.
Formerly he led the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group, was Human Resources Director for the City of Boston Assessing Department, and served as a consultant with the Boston Management Consortium. His consulting practice includes management coaching as well as research and writing on employee relationships, leadership, healthcare and collaborative practices. Having produced newsletters for several organizations and being a frequent content writer for the”Confident Voices in Healthcare” blog, he is interested in writing and research opportunities, as well as consulting and coaching. He is an avid walker, widespread library visitor, and proud parent!
www.manage2001.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org