Preparation for the workplace after COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns are lifted

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By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO

It’s been six weeks since the United States began acknowledging COVID-19. Until recently, establishments were not open to the public. Despite how it looks or feels, things can work in your favor.

Regardless if you’re still trying to decide whether you want to return to work if your company mandates its employees to return, or you’ve made up your mind to work from home, you can begin preparing yourself for the shift.

The Department of Labor indicated that more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims. That number continues to elevate. If you worked in the service industry, places such as restaurants, beauty shops, barbershops, and even retail stores are no longer able to handle the same capacity of customers. This means some workers will not be returning to work in the same position, or perhaps with the same employer.

Due to the new restraints prohibiting a large number of people in one location, businesses were forced to make adjustments if they wanted to reopen. Outside of questions or concerns such as “how will they be able to provide a safe work environment for employees to feel comfortable conducting their duties?” there are factors of whether the employee desires to return to the same type of work, or if the employer will decide to remain in the same line of business? There are many decisions and risks for both parties to consider.

Recently, the governor of Michigan was quoted “as an employee, if you deny returning to work it’s a form of quitting your job and those choose this option will not be eligible to receive unemployment.”

A pretty bold statement, but for most, it’s a fact. It’s time to lay your cards on the table and decide who’s ultimately in control, and what’s your role in the deck of cards being played?

You have a role and a responsibility outside of being a breadwinner, or the financial contributor to your household. As an employee, you must decide “how long will you allow others to reign your life, future, and finances?” And, as an employer, “how can you accept responsibility for those who are depending on you to have their best interest as a leader. The questions cannot be answered without thought-provoking actions that follow.

Here are two factors that may provide solutions.

Employers, you are now faced with choosing either shifting your practices or shutting down. Times have changed and there are many employees that you simply will not be able to remain a host for their skills. For those who will remain on your payroll, you can provide them with training to enhance their ability and benefit the company. Arm them with the possibilities of project management skills. Studies show that employees who are trained for project management utilizes an entrepreneurial mindset and can understand why processes and procedures are the backbones of deliverables. They add higher value to any enterprise and create a capacity for growth.

As a candidate, you must understand the process of deliverables and the value it can add to any establishment. This means your value lies in your ability to understand how to streamline procedures and outcomes. The more you develop this skill, the more you become an asset and not a liability. Without a versatile career, eventually, your abilities flatline and you begin blending in with everyone else who chose to accept their situations and allow the government to dictate if they will or can succeed. No matter what level of education or training you currently have, if you’re not skilled in working remotely, you become a liability to your employer. Now is the time to take control of your future and decide your next move. Don’t let someone else choose it for you. The more you know, the more you’re worth, and this makes you an asset.

Using project methodologies can assist both parties to find comfort and assurance knowing flexibility is right around the corner. It just requires a “give and take” from both sides. Rest assured, training and preparation can make a big difference and provide an opportunistic outcome for your future, regardless of your disposition.

Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty

Sistah Soldier is an inspirational leader who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into the call of God for their lives using their creative skills. She’s the CEO, Host, and Executive Producer of SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show and the Executive Recruiter for SHE MediaTech.™

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