For the past few months, leaders have been experiencing extraordinary challenges. Change is happening at a rate never experienced before, with a dramatic impact on how they do business and how they manage people.
Their leadership style has been tested during this time. Those who are successfully making the transition — setting themselves up to be great leaders, not just good ones — are starting to see positive results, including greater employee engagement and adaptability, new or improved business model development, and growth in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Here are some key learnings.
Keep your teams feeling supported and informed during this time of uncertainty. Establish open and transparent communication channels with employees to ensure that they feel connected to the organisation while working remotely. Using an online collaboration tool provides a way for them to hear directly about business updates, as well as ask questions and provide feedback. Although you may not have all the answers, it is important to listen and uncover any issues and work together towards a solution.
An agile leader responds to change quickly and effectively, providing the team with the necessary technology, skills and tools to quickly adapt to new situations and thrive beyond disruption. With social distancing being the new norm, you should host meetings and events virtually instead of cancelling or postponing them. If necessary, fast-track approval processes or bypass certain protocols to quickly achieve desired outcomes.
Be mindful of what you are asking your employees to do. It is likely that many of them have extended themselves to support the organisation as it adjusts to conditions whilst simultaneously dealing with challenging circumstances at home. Be sure to both acknowledge and show appreciation for their commitment. If you are asking employees to take annual leave, also communicate that you will be doing the same.
Take time to recharge
Before you can look after your team, you need to first look after yourself. Mental health is always important, so allow time for yourself each day to zone out and recharge the batteries. It might be a daily walk, meditation or bike ride. Scheduling this time for yourself will allow you to help clear your mind and set yourself up for what’s ahead. Beyond that, it is also important to remain connected with your family, friends and peers, which will keep you grounded.
Look beyond a crisis
Great leaders will always see a cloud’s silver lining. These leaders will appreciate the new and innovative solutions that have emerged in crunched time frames and promote the benefits of new ways of working, such as improved team collaboration. You’ll stand out if you have allowed yourself to learn from this experience and are now planning how to maximise this knowledge for the long term.