by Brian Ganden -
May 29, 2020
By now, you are likely in the middle of return to work planning. Hopefully, our tips and matrix have come in handy: you have gathered your planning team, come up with your considerations, defined what you would like to achieve, and listed your options. Excellent. Except now, people are looking to you to make some decisions. Now what?? What are the right decisions to make in this uncharted, pandemic-territory?
First, let’s reframe that question:
What are the best decisions I can make given the information I have now?
There are a few things you can do to figure that out:
5 steps in framing decisions
- Create structure around how you make decisions. Here is a Decision Matrix that is so simple, you can write it on the back of a napkin.
- Involve your people in the decision-making process and delegate what you can. Be clear about who is responsible for making the decision and how the decision is made. For example: Are they the decision makers or are they your advisors and you are the lone decision-maker? Are they part of a democratic decision-making process where majority rules or are you using a consensus-based approach? Something else?
- Be especially ruthless about splitting up assumptions and facts. That does not mean you toss out your assumptions – you are going to have to make some here, but it is important to identify them. As you move further along, you will want to check back to see if those assumptions became reality. You may find some were incorrect and you will have to adjust your thinking and adjust the plan. That’s okay. What is less okay is confusing assumption with fact and not checking back at all.
- Remember success is about doing your best with what you have control over (the planning, the engagement with your people, the courage to make a decision at all). Make sure you judge yourself on the process, not so much the result. That may sound counter-intuitive, but once you release a decision into the world, a lot of things you have no control over will have their way with it. Sometimes we get lucky, sometimes we don’t. Using a Decision Journal is a great way to track your decisions and improve your ability to make them over time.
- Ensure your plan jives with your legal obligations. For example, human rights legislation requires employers to be accommodating of things like family status and physical and mental disability. Health and safety legislation guides us on the prevention of workplace illness, injury and disease. If you have employees concerned about returning to work because of circumstances related to human rights or health and safety and you aren’t sure how to respond, Granville West Group can help.
Making these kinds of decisions is daunting, but don’t underestimate the power of trust. If you have built a trusting relationship with your people, you are way ahead of the game. When people trust you, even when things go awry, they are more likely to trust that you have their best interests at heart, that you are doing your best, and that you care.
Want some more no-nonsense support on decision making? Check out Season 2, Episode 26 of the podcast Don’t Be a Jerk at Work titled Decisions, Decisions. Find it where you find your podcasts, or by going to https://www.dontbeajerkatwork.ca/podcast