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Managing Uncertainty: The Healthy “Workplace” in the Seemingly Never-ending Covid Era
March 17, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm$40
This session focuses explicitly on workplace/organizational health. It flows from a set of basic assumptions. The most important is that organizational “health” is the biggest determinant of success and satisfaction and that the key components of a healthy organization are: high levels of trust, a clear and well-communicated strategy, honed focus on execution, clarity as opposed to ambiguity, solid communication and everyone “pulling in the same direction.”
There was an implicit assumption that a “return to the office” was more or less predictable. Dates for a return were set, and plans made. Omicron, along with the impacts of misinformation and certain behaviors, have upended these expectations.
These sessions have focused on the choices that non-profit organizations would have in the “post-Covid” world. Depending on circumstances, these choices fell into three “boxes”:
- Use the uncertainty and disruption to play a transformative role in their communities, i.e., “Go Big;”
- Adapt to what appears to be the new “normal,” e.g., changes in funding streams and the needs of the communities served;
- Wait and see what happens over the months ahead.
Goals of this Session: To provide non-profit leaders with a set of organizational tools for sustaining workplace cohesion and trust in a period of uncertainty.
Discussion Points and Themes for This Session:
- “Out of Practice”/Relearning: Addressing cumulative Effects of the Pandemic
- Where do we want to be? Time targeted, measurable, achievable objectives
- Uncertainty and its Impacts on the Workplace
- The Leader Defines the Culture, norms, values, and behaviors: making them explicit
- The Fairness Theme/Avoiding “Relative Deprivation”
- Clarity is Good/Ambiguity is Bad: How Can We Be Clear?
- Communicating Change: Who, How, What, When/Lead Times; What to avoid
- Empathic Leadership/Empathic Followership: Avoiding “Let’s Shoot Down the Leader”
- The importance of “self-care”: If you think, “I am the exception” to the impacts of the past two years, you are almost certainly wrong.
Case Study: Return to the Office/In Person: Prior to the workshop, a case study will be shared via email with all registrants. This case study will be used throughout the workshop, and more importantly, will be a core piece of the break-out sessions. To best participate in the session, please allocate 30-minutes leading up to the workshop to review and consider the case study.
Tools and Takeaways
- Self-assessment (organizational) tool
- Self-assessment (me) tool
- Action plans
Frank Schneider was born and grew up in Milwaukee. He is a graduate of UWM in History and Political Science. He also holds a Masters’s degree and Ph.D. in International Affairs from Columbia University. He has worked as a liquor truck driver, construction laborer, New York City taxi driver, and longshoreman. And served as Executive Assistant to Congressman James Scheuer of New York, as Assistant Health Commissioner of the City of New York, Executive Director of the Federal Region Two Children’s Services Resource Center, and Director of Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Michael Dukakis. Frank is the founder and President of Frank Schneider and Associates, a 35-year-old planning, organizational development, and crisis management firm serving the public, non-profit and small business communities.