In complete regression?
Regression is one of the three phases of any crisis (between emergency and recovery). It can last a long time, especially if you don’t change your routines.
The paradox: during the first weeks of sheltering at home, the disappearance of work routines created an energy boost. Teams swung into action to deal with the virus in a stimulating spirit of cooperation, and decisions were made quickly and efficiently. This positive reaction is typical of Phase 1 of a crisis: emergency. This is quickly followed by a regression phase, in which employees become tired, drag their feet, lose that sense of purpose, and begin squabbling about the small stuff.
How do you make it through this delicate stage? First of all, break with your employees’ routines: reallocate roles — assign new tasks and responsibilities to everyone. This will get your troops marching again. Then talk openly about everyone’s emotional state — this is something new too — so that everyone can look for support within the team. Lastly, focus energy on solutions for the future. Turn your employees into key contributors to your company’s future plans so they don’t find themselves simply managing the daily, post-crisis routine.
To go further:
“If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not Alone” by Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg (Harvard Business Review, May 2020)
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