‘Thoughts on Post-Pandemic Fatigue, Resilience and Talent Management’ by Masud Khokhar

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‘Thoughts on Post-Pandemic Fatigue, Resilience and Talent Management’ by Masud Khokhar

Masud Khokhar, the university librarian and keeper of the Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds, writes the following on his website Thoughts, Perspectives, Reflections:

Recently, I have been reflecting on how my staff are feeling currently as we slowly move out of the pandemic in the UK. Considering that a pandemic is typically a once in a century event, I want to pay huge credit for the adaptability and flexibility shown by staff during this time. Services were literally shifted from physical to virtual overnight, and work from home trials became a long-term reality within days. The strength of character and resilience shown was exemplary. So why is it that most staff are still feeling tired, unloved, not cared for, and frustrated[?] …

Some staff are fatigued due to the lack of social and psychological infrastructures to support their resilience and unless social and psychological safety aspects are reestablished, they will either be resistant to, or will have no capacity for, change. At the same time, some staff are feeling frustrated by being stuck in the neutral zone of the transition. They recognize that the pandemic has marked an end to a previous way of working and they are keen to exhibit the leadership and agility further, and establish a new beginning for themselves and the organisation. Unfortunately, with large change programmes, organizations are reverting back to the comfortable hierarchical structures they have been used to in the past, leading to frustration and anxiety for these people. This anxiety often leads to an escape mentality, leading to high turnover of staff for an organisation. …

So is there a way out of this difficult situation? This is the time where I have to be honest and say I don’t have all the answers. What I do know is that this is the time to manage talent effectively and enable talented people to achieve the very best they can. Now is the time to break obstacles rather than recreate barriers. Now is the time to readjust ways of working to create supportive infrastructures.

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