Monday, 22 march 2021 | Redacción CEU
The work environment promised to be global, digital and changeable, but before 2020 few people imagined what these adjectives would come to really mean. The pandemic, the crisis and their consequences have raised a generalized context of uncertainty and for the majority of people, no matter what position they occupy, that translates into a state of concern. How to stay productive and working normally when you do not know what may happen tomorrow? How to propose medium and long-term plans when you only has certainty of what is going to happen in the immediate future? How to prevent a team from being demotivated in the face of a fragile and unstable scenario? The answer to these questions must be sought in the management of uncertainty.
The VUCA environment -volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous-, which is often mentioned in the Human Resources field, seems to have reached its pinnacle with the emergence of COVID-19. Currently, making medium and long-term plans may seem a truly complex task. Nevertheless, to be successful in a scenario like this, it is important to remain calm, adapt to the new context and continue to make decisions.
This also means having to deal with uncertainty and the problems associated with it, because when concerns appear, symptoms like anxiety, lack of concentration, lack of motivation, insecurity, stress or irritability also do so. Indeed, these are aspects that may affect the loss of potential, whether you are a regular worker or a leader. Thus, what to do to avoid these problems related to uncertainty?
Managing uncertainty from the employee's point of view
This virus is leaving a mark on people’s mental health that is in part related to the atmosphere of job uncertainty that it brings about. Undoubtedly, there will always be external circumstances that cannot be changed no matter how much one tries. That is the reason why in order to face uncertainty it is advisable to know how to distinguish between the different sources of anxiety: external and internal. Once identified, the idea is to focus on the emotions and thoughts that can be changed and that are influenced by ourselves.
A good way to deal with uncertainty is to try to live in the present moment, by focusing, for example, on daily routines. There are also different formulas to better cope with the emotions this feeling causes such as meditation, outdoor sports, reading, trekking, etc.
A key aspect in managing uncertainty is the search for support in family, friends, colleagues... In order to face the unknown, it is convenient to seek refuge in what gives security, the fundamentals and values. Cristina Velasco Vega, professor of the Department of Psychology at San Pablo CEU University, recently talked about this topic in a video from the CEU Experts series. We recommend watching it to get a broader perspective on the subject.
It is also a good idea to think of an alternative plan. It does not have to be put into practice, but it can help clear up uncertainty and serve as a kind of safety net.