By Linda Nazareth, Economist and Keynote Speaker
It may not be quite the time for high-fives yet, but the finish line for the end of the pandemic is in sight. The world of COVID-19 has tested us and the way we do business, but collectively, we have risen to the occasion and should be proud of that fact. Still, even though we may come out the pandemic intact, maybe we should be setting our sights a bit higher than that. Rather than picking up from where we left off, can we emerge from the pandemic stronger?
That question and its possible answers is the subject of a special four-part series of podcasts sponsored by Microsoft that I was honoured to produce and host as part of my Work and the Future podcast. Through discussions with four leaders on the front lines of change, we covered everything from individual resilience to what organizations should be thinking about to address worker needs and how postsecondary institutions can keep us skilled for a lifetime.
Here are some of the subjects we covered:
Guest: Jason Brommet, Modern Workplace Lead, Microsoft Canada
To kick off the series, we were joined by Jason Brommet, Modern Workplace Lead at Microsoft Canada. Jason is on the front lines of change and shared his thoughts about workplace policies and what they should look like to get us where we want to be post-pandemic.
Episode 2: How Can Workers Build Resilience?
Guest: Dr. Monique Valcour, PhD PCC, Executive Coach and Management Professor
With the pandemic lifting our stress levels, particularly around work, workers are being challenged like never before. Our guest on this episode was Dr. Monique Valcour, an executive coach who has worked with leaders at the United Nations and helped them work their way though past crises. She shared with us the insights she has gleaned from those interactions and talked about how we can apply them to the current crisis.
Guest: Deborah MacLatchy, President and Vice-Provost, Wilfrid Laurier University
In Episode 3 of the series, we took a big picture look at not just the immediate time frame after the pandemic, but also the longer term. We know we will need skilled workers to support our future and we also know that those workers will need to be reskilled on a regular basis. Accepting that that will have to happen, what role will postsecondary institutions play? Deborah MacLatchy, President of Wilfrid Laurier University discussed these issues and what higher education can do to promote life-long learning.
Guest: Lara Root, Chief People Office, CBI Health
To round out our Coming Back Stronger series we went back to the topic of resilience, but from an organizational standpoint. Lara Root, Chief People Officer of CBI Health, shared how her organization has had to pivot during the pandemic and helped workers build resilience and be ready – and stronger – for the post-pandemic world.
One of the main things that has emerged from the podcast episodes is that we are all coming out of this pandemic different than when we went into it. We all have new agendas, and we will have to evolve our organizations to accommodate them. As we move forward to deal with a recovering world, we need to share our visions – as our guests did on this series. By starting the discussions now and listening to each other, we can then not just move forward, but progress to a better future where we come back stronger.