Help your people change their routines [WFH Series]

“That generation is having a problem.” The neighbor I was talking to (at a distance of 20′) was referring to some older people he worked with. “Some had to be told directly at least twice to work from home. No more office.” 

I thought about that for a moment. My neighbor continued. “I think their routines are so ingrained they just couldn’t make the mental switch.”


What my neighbor observed about older Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation people at his work is a problem for many of us irrespective of our age.

Big and fast change is shocking and some of us default into our routines, even if those routines are the very thing in need of change. As leaders we can help our people through big change.

Here’s the underlying precept: The bigger the change, the more time you will need to invest in helping your people through it.

Young, old, Generation X? Doesn’t matter. We can’t do big stuff only with email or all-hands meetings. Effecting change cannot be done well at scale. This is (virtual) face-to-face stuff.

Talk about the change and what’s driving it. Start talking about responses. Dig deeper and get specific. Don’t forget to listen for emotion. Even “real men” are having problems right now. Invest the time.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership | Work From Home

Published on March 23, 2020

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