I was coaching an employee who said, ‘I just want this to be over’
She was struggling with meeting increased work demands and at the same time preparing her twins for their first day of school in a modified setting.
Usually a resilient person, she felt exhausted and stretched to her limits.
Thankfully, her firm provided Ombuds services to help their community cope and find new work solutions.
What can you do if you want to release the pressure?
1. Re-establish work expectations. Meet with each employee to discuss your current needs & their situation. Offer tools like the app Pomodoro to increase productivity
2. Allow your team to adapt their workflow if possible. It’s a gesture that shows trust & commitment, which will be rewarded with more effort.
3. Lighten things up. Take 10-15 minutes to reconnect at the start of meetings. Use an exercise like the weather report, where each teammate shares their personal state-sunny but a chance of storms-to share and normalize feelings.
4. Hire an external Ombuds like me to give yourself and your team a safe place to share your story, get support & resources & be coached.
Why hire an Ombuds?
Running any business, particularly a law firm, during a global pandemic is incredibly unnerving for all involved, you and your team.
The challenges are legion!
- Figure out how to stay open during a global pandemic
- Figure out how to serve clients at the same level or better
- Figure out how to work remotely
- Deal with being on lockdown
- Deal with being with family 24/7
- Deal with homeschooling/kid issues
- Figure finances
- Furlough or not to furlough
- Deal with team issues and needs
- Deal with the fact that COVID is ongoing…
How did you feel after reading that list? Tired? Fearful? Stressed?
How do you think your team feels? (If you answered, how should I know?, we should have a little chat about checking in)
They feel like you do but 10x worst because they have NO control over their work situation. Mix in the complexity of parenting through all this mishagosh and you can see why having a safe, neutral place to get support and insights comes in handy.
For those who are thinking, Omsbuds what? You’re not the only one who can’t say the name. Ombuddy is so much easier.
A traditional Ombudsman is appointed by the government to investigate public complaints. An Organizational Ombudsman is a little different.
As an Organizational Ombuds companies and law firms hire me (and my Ombuddy partner) to provide a safe, neutral, impartial, confidential resource for their employees to share and resolve workplace issues as well as provide training and facilitated discussions.
In that role, I am not an advocate for the leadership or the team members because, by agreement, the Ombuds is independent. Rather, my role is to facilitate the best outcome by providing resources or assisting the teammate to build the skill to advocate for themself. When people feel heard and respected the whole organization wins!
Why is an Ombuds good for leaders?
Stirring up trouble. That’s what some biz owners think about having an Ombuds. They don’t see the big picture, though.
The Ombuds doesn’t stir up trouble. The Ombuds raises and elevates issues that are already present and impacting your business, sometimes without you realizing it.
You get your freedom back. One CEO I worked with estimated it spent about 20 hours a week dealing with his 20 employees, their fights and redoing their work. He felt frustrated with his team and helpless about what to do to fix things.
I took over as neutral. He got his time back and became part of the community again. I was able to resolve issues and model good communication techniques for the community. Trust improved. Everyone was happier in a relatively short period.
What are you doing to address COVID fatigue?