Leading your team effectively post COVID-19 lockdown
The current healthcare crisis has brought with it a lot of uncertainty for organisations. Leaders have had to adapt to new ways of thinking and many are now managing a remote work-force. As Europe and other parts of the world cautiously reopen from the Covid-19 lockdown, implementation of changes in processes, activities, and interactions in workplaces are now front and center on the to-do list of managers and leaders within organisations. It is time to test run the strategies developed to cope with the new normal. While it may not always work out on the first trial run, it is important to ensure that one of the core elements of leadership – communication – is effectively used during these trying times. Thinking outside the box in terms of how to adapt to new changes is vital and new ideas and processes must be explored. Organisations must be creative and innovative in adapting to the new normal. Employees must be encouraged to be part of the planning process in order to keep them motivated and feeling more valued.
Organisations must have in place coherent and realistic action plans. It is important to communicate how certain changes will impact on the performance of employees. Acknowledge the challenges and have in place a communication loop where all can participate and contribute. Managers must provide clear and updated information to their teams on the challenges posed to the organisation and the steps that are proposed to overcome them. They must ensure that everyone is clear on the lines of communication, from bottom up. The importance of joint thinking is key to successfully evolving to manage the new normal.
Flexibility and Empathy
Public health experts have been increasingly learning new details about the virus and setting out advice and guidelines based on new knowledge. Companies therefore must learn to adapt, reiterate and continually develop policies that ensure the health and wellbeing of employees while maintaining and possibly improving bottom lines. Regular updates are necessary to alleviate feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Employees have responsibilities outside of work so it is important to understand their stresses and worries at this time. In implementing new policies and strategies, leaders must be empathetic and personal, and recognise that family challenges have increased due to the impact of the coronavirus. Some people have sick loved ones, have not had time to mourn lost friends and relatives, and perhaps are struggling with the upheavals caused by the pandemic in their lives due to the loss of what we had all considered as “normal” before Covid 19.
Organisations cannot afford to be complacent at this time. Business continuity must be at the core of all decision making. They must now begin to look at their business plans and objectives, explore new opportunities, and discuss how available resources can be used to develop new revenue streams. On top of this, workplace practices should ensure limited risk and exposure to employees. Prepare and adapt to the new normal. Where possible, companies need to be open and honest about concerns and the potential challenges the organisation could face as a result of new policies. Whilst this can cause some worry, employees will be prepared and will be engaged in problem-solving. Regardless of the challenges posed by the new normal, leaders must continue to guide and empower their team towards a successful future.
Executive Search Researcher’s at InterSearch Ireland