by Angeline Licerio
The pandemic is continuing to alter businesses. It’s ravaging the economy in many nations and changing the normal way of working. Even government and national or state leaders are caught off-guard. It seems that almost everyone is trying to cope with the challenges and the pandemic’s impact on health, livelihood, jobs, food security, and more.
And like any other crises, this pandemic tests the skills and resiliency of leaders to adapt to the new normal. They are being called to step up, move forward, and take decisive action to take the team and organization to another level or keep up the status quo until the crisis is over. It is a crucial time for them to build the future while managing the impact of the crisis.
Here are some of the ways to lead effectively during the pandemic:
#1: Project confidence: Leaders should inspire confidence by displaying self-confidence. It is essential for leaders not to panic and become fixated on the possible negative outcomes of the pandemic. They should not wait until the worst is over. This is the perfect time to respond to new challenges and demonstrate their abilities.
As leaders, they call the shots and steer the team out of the water. They should take charge and step up to their responsibility, delivering profound messages of reassurance. They do not make false promises or guarantees but create solid plans that are grounded in reality. They need to do the transitional and long-term planning right now to prevent paralysing effects on the team, or business while implementing short-term plans to keep the business solid-rock.
#2: Think out of the box: Embracing the new normal requires creating sound and innovative strategies to keep everything afloat. The choices are not just between firing and retaining the employees, but looking for a creative approach that will not involve giving up employees during this time. You can implement reduced work hours, take the business online, or look for financial support to subsidise the organisation.
#3: Create order and consistency: When life becomes uncertain, order and consistency bring a sense of calm, hope, and assurance. Leaders should design a daily schedule, activities, games, and events that will bring down the anxiety level of their people. The dynamics of order and consistency are important to create a semblance of normalcy. It involves nurturing a highly structured working environment even if it is remotely done. You can even have ‘virtual parties’ and have fun once in a while. Moreover, it is vital to keep everyone abiding by the schedules and rules like the normal days.
#4: Send clear messages: Communication is very important, especially now that many companies are embracing remote working. Leaders should be relentless in communicating with their people to be proactive. Leaders should act promptly to mitigate restlessness. Be clear about what you want to say, what you need from them, what you know, and what you don’t know. Messages should be clear to avoid misinterpretation and resentment. It is also necessary to open the line of communication, allowing everyone to share their thoughts and opinions about decisions and priorities that you want to implement.
#5: Keep tabs on employees’ mental health: Mental health is important to ensure a productive working environment. When everyone is happy and mentally healthy, the business or organisation thrives. Leaders should take this into consideration and ensure that the work culture is not toxic and stressful for everyone.
- Set feasible and attainable goals
- Create teams to ensure more productivity and great results. The collaborative efforts of skilled and talented professionals bring innovative outcomes.
- Delegate tasks to ensure that no one is getting more than their share of work. It is also vital to check if the employee is the right person to handle the task. Delegating the task to an employee who is not skilled to do it, will make them feel inadequate and stressed, which can disturb their mental health.
- Criticise constructively, especially during this trying time. It is vital to expect excellent results, but allow room for mistakes and improvements. When things happen, talk to your employee and encourage him to do better next time and avoid the same things from happening.
#6: Build credibility with transparency: Share both the good and bad news with your team. Transparency fosters stronger connections and working relationships. Do not be afraid to let your team know what’s ahead and reassure them that you are on top of the situation. Keeping bad news will only make you anxious and affect your own well-being. Let everyone in your organization know that you don’t have the right answers now, but you are working to find the best solutions and expect everyone to cooperate. Admitting problems does not make you weak or incapable, it displays your honesty and willingness to accept suggestions from your people.
#7: Show extra compassion: The world needs an extra dose of love and compassion during this pandemic.
- Are you providing a sense of hope to your team?
- Are you paying attention to your employees’ concerns and feelings?
Take a look within and see if your leadership style includes demonstrating compassion to your subordinates. Every day, make sure to ask them about how they feel. Bring a calming and optimistic presence and show care as much as you can. Encourage them to share their thoughts, anxieties, and feelings with you and listen with empathy.
Indeed, leadership styles are evolving during this pandemic. It is highlighting the essential qualities of leaders that inspire and motivate people around them. Now is the time to display to your employees and superiors that you fit the role. Don’t be afraid to seek help and mentorship in some aspects that you do not fully comprehend. Talk to the key people, partners, stakeholders, and team members. Finally, use the lessons of the pandemic to step up and become an effective leader.