Managing Teams During Times of Rapid ChangeJuly 29, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of adapting to change. Now more than ever, it is critical for businesses to adapt in situations of transformation. However, leadership has proven more successful when managers embrace change as an important call to action. Business leaders should commit to change and align their behaviors and goals to utilize change as a tool to flourish. Like every challenge, use this tumultuous time as an opportunity for growth.
One important strategy that business owners and people managers can do is use this time to reorient yourself and your team on the company’s mission, vision and values. Take this time to ensure clarity and commitment to the business’s goals and how they are to be achieved. Discuss those things that are valued in the company’s culture and how each employee’s contribution is critical to the organization’s overall success.
Once the Company vision is fortified, be sure to create space for employees to be heard and provide input on things such as creative ways to respond to customer needs, new workflows for accomplishing tasks, and the internal restructuring of functions and/or duties. Holding team discussion calls and practicing active listening by validating and commenting on ideas that are being shared, will help you remain engaged, particularly if your employees are work-from-home. Given the isolation of remote working, it is critical that each employee feels motivated to do their best.
Another useful technique to embrace is communicating transparently. During these unknown times, authentic messaging can help ease employee anxiety and fear. Take for instance employer concerns about diminished productivity from their remote workers. Remember that many people are going through extreme trauma and/or psychologically difficult experiences and it is important to consider how this may impact the way they show up to work (figuratively and literally). As employees attempt to balance the collision of their work and home lives, those employers that communicate messages of concern for their employee’s well being, and not just the bottom line, will be more successful at keeping their workforce engaged, than those who do not.
Business owners, senior leaders, and people managers have a duty and obligation to promote confidence in the employees that they manage, despite the uncertainty in the world. Truthful and timely communication is the preferred style that employers should strive to achieve to ensure a healthy and safe work environment. As a senior leader in your organization, adjusting your expectations for the circumstance we all find ourselves in, and modeling the behavior you expect from your teams, can help towards cultivating and maintaining a productive and compassionate work environment.