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We Are Different People Returning to Work

One of the under-discussed elements of the Covid pandemic is the long-term effects it has had on us as individuals. When everything hit the US in March of 2020, we thought it was all short term. A few weeks became a few months. A few months became a year. As I write this, we are 19 months out from when the pandemic started and still dealing with issues.

Psychologically, it has gone from something we had to deal with, to something that has profoundly changed us - whether we know it or not. Before a 45-minute commute to work was expected and non-controversial. Now it is something that will stop someone from taking a job.

As a manager, building relationships is critical to your role. Be aware that those people who you built relationships with are not the same today as they were in Jan 2020. You have to take the time to relearn about them as people. Where they once valued health benefits, they may see it as a weakness now because it doesn't offer wellness benefits. Where salary and bonus was critical before, time off to be with family may now be their motivation.

Don't assume people you've known for years are the same. Be curious and pay attention to how they have changed during the pandemic. We all have, and it won't snap back to the way it was when things are over. It has been too long.

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