The world today is adjusting to a new normal. There have been drastic changes in almost every aspect of life and the COVID-19 crisis has forced us to find as many alternate ways as possible. Employees are working remotely, doctors are practicing telemedicine, retailers are facilitating online shopping, and all of these are quite new and challenging scenarios for the those in leadership roles. Talking of workplaces, many employees are perplexed and still struggling to acclimatize to the new normals. And, most of them are looking up to their leaders for support, answers and guidance. In the current scenario leadership is extremely important as well as hard. Today the businesses that are toiling to survive amid the crisis and are hoping to establish systems that create long-term success need leaders that can demonstrate the capabilities to navigate the uncertain times and find out approaches to developing new business models and strategies that work.
Here are a few tips to help you refine your leadership skills and strategies to make them work in the new normal:
- Connect and Communicate More
Connect more often with your employees, shareholders, customers and community and maintain a clear and transparent communication about what your organization is doing to deal with the new challenges. Honest and supportive words from a leader can be helpful in reducing anxiety and easing things. Even if you don’t have it all figured out, keep your stakeholders updated about the progress.
- Clarify Your Expectations
Business operations have changed in multiple ways and majority of employees are working remotely. It’s important to optimize their mode of work. Find out ways in which your team can stay connected to each other as well as to you. Make optimum use of technology. There are many software that are offering free usage during the crisis. Find out what works best for your team. Discussthe ways your team needs to communicate with the clients, decide on how they are looping you in, ensure reachability and set clear expectations of how they need to work remotely.
- Be Compassionate
The world is in chaos and people are facing a hard time. Encourage your employees to prioritize their physical and mental health. A lot of your employees might be stressed, depressed or de-motivated. As a leader it’s your responsibility to help them stay fit and motivated. Acknowledge their challenges and support them to regain their efficiency while working in this completely new environment.
- Make Wise Decisions
There is a lot going on in the world and the leaders need to pause and think carefully before making any decision. Avoid reacting to everything and keep in mind the health and safety of your business as well as employees. Collect data and facts and analyze them thoroughly to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of your organization. This might also require waiting till you get all the necessary facts. Being frantic while leading in tough times may create chaos in your organization.
- Be Patient
Your organization is probably seeing some unprecedented changes and there certainly would be hurdles along the way. Explaining the new normals could be difficult for leaders and employees may find them ambiguous. Also, there are some sensitive issues which need to be addressed carefully. Doing all this in a virtual setting makes the entire thing even more challenging. While leading through uncertainty, you need to be patient and reassure your teams that things would get better and easy with time. Communicate regularly to reduce stress, confusion and ambiguity. Things might go wrong often but as a leader you need to maintain your composure and deal with them patiently.
- Focus on Innovation and Creativity
New normal leadership requires finding new ways of achieving goals. Encourage your employees to think out of the box and be creative. Help them find new opportunities in the problems the world is facing today. Flexibility and adaptability are of crucial importance. The quicker and better you respond to changes, the more success you achieve. Guide your team on how to focus on innovation and develop strategies for long term success. Being confident and optimistic is vital for leadership in the new normal.
Working environment has changed in colossal ways and leaders need to develop new capabilities to make the most out of the talents the organization has. Now the leaders are facing new set of expectations, for which they need to reinvent their strategies very differently to drive performance and ensure sustainability.