Web Fatigue? How to Re-Engage
By Bob Catinazzo
I received an email the other day from one of our clients, who told me that he was pleased to see the online training options we have provided during the pandemic. However, he offered up his strong desire to move away from web-based training due to what he described as "web fatigue."
Without question, the pandemic has impacted how we do business and how we interact with other people. Across the world, video conferencing has been substituted for person-to-person interactions. Many organizations have used it to replicate typical human interactions. However, it has created a new level of exhaustion in the workforce. Video chats can feel less collaborative and slower paced while attendees wait for their turn to speak. People have begun to openly admit they are tired of sitting at a computer all day with no real human interaction.
As we slowly head back to normalcy, organizational leaders must consider the impact "web fatigue" has had on their employees. As such, a strong emphasis should be placed on shifting the "mindset" from web-based to people-based interactions in the workplace.
As in most organizations, the person spearheading organizational improvement and employee engagement initiatives is the front-line Supervisor.
This leads us to some critical questions.
Do you or your Front-Line Supervisors possess the mindset necessary to lead your organization into the "new normal?"
Are your leaders capable of rebuilding and reinforcing personal relationships with each employee they lead? Or will they continue to stifle people-based interactions behind web-based emails and social media tools?
The Next Generation Mindset
The "new normal" will require what we at PPI call The Next Generation Mindset, where you, as the leader or influencer, promote the types of choices, actions, and behaviors you're looking for and grow them rapidly.
There are four necessary steps in the Next Generation Mindset.
The first step is to focus on ATTITUDES and BEHAVIORS. A person's "attitude" is the same thing as their mindset, which ultimately determines an individual's thoughts and choices, actions, and behaviors. On a moment-to-moment basis, this combination essentially determines HOW an individual does WHAT they do (which, of course, ultimately generates outcomes and results).
Historically speaking, front-line supervisors tend to focus on catching people doing things WRONG; that's why a front-line supervisor's appearance on a job site is often viewed negatively by the employee.
Therefore, the second step is about doing things differently by focusing on catching people doing something RIGHT. What you as a leader focus on will expand. Over time, if your employees see that your observation focus is positive, it will go a long way towards positively influencing your culture.
The third step is watching for Drift and Accumulation. Has your workforce become complacent? Are there Traps, Roadblocks, and Landmines in the way of organizational success?
Who best to help you answer this question? The people who do the work, your employees. Therefore, observing them and communicating with them is a must.
The Next Generation Mindsets fourth and final step, is to reduce and eliminate Traps, Roadblocks, and Landmines. Once identified, do everything in your power to get rid of them.
In my next blog, we will move from "mindset" towards the actual engagement. I will show you how to proactively provide feedback following observations in a way that builds trust between the front-line supervisor and the employee. If done correctly, over time, the supervisors’ presence on a Jobsite will no longer be perceived negatively by the employee.
Have a plan to re-energize your workforce in 2021 and beyond, HOST a "LIVE" PPI Leadership Course for your leadership team and set the tone for an engaged workforce as they return to work.
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Let me know how I can help!
Bob Catinazzo, PPM
Practicing Perfection Institute
Executive Vice-President – Client Services
Bob Catinazzo is a decorated Senior Supervisory Agent for the DEA (retired), and is Director- Law Enforcement Services for the Practicing Perfection Institute. He has taught law enforcement professionals around the world, providing strategic and tactical insights in leadership and human performance.