As leaders, we continue to look closely at the impact of working in a highly remote world. The situation, up to this point, has been anxiety-inducing, and organizations around the world are dealing with new challenges. So what can leaders do to sustain leadership effectiveness as we move into recovery?
Continue Communicating Clearly – It’s always important that leaders communicate clearly, and that becomes even more critical as situations change. Rumors can spread quickly, and anxiety can increase from the unknown. Whatever decisions you’re making about your organization, communicate clearly and quickly, and own the message. For example, if you are committed to making sure that your employees take time as needed if they are feeling overwhelmed, make sure that this is crystal clear to everyone in your organization. Figure out where the roadblocks to this are, work to eliminate them if possible, and communicate transparently throughout.
Emphasize and Enable Teamwork – Teamwork has already been a prominent topic for many businesses in recent years. In a time like this, the need for effective teamwork is heightened. With schools moving to virtual or hybrid learning, parents who are working from home will need help to balance family and work during this time. Parents who still need to report to work may need increased flexibility, if at all possible. Leaders should be thinking through what they can do to help encourage their teams to work together effectively. And teamwork goes beyond what you can do internally in your organization. Many people are sharing their evolving policies on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms in an effort to promote teamwork across organizations as well.
Help Employees with Remote Work – If possible, regularly optimize your technology support to minimize difficulties. Schedule team check-ins, happy hours, or working meetings to help boost collaboration and morale. Also, encourage conversations and potential trainings around managing remote workers.
Stay Flexible – Agility is increasingly considered a key competency in effective leaders. During a global situation like what we’ve experienced, we are all getting bombarded daily (and even hourly) with new information. Leaders who can embrace the need for flexibility and who can change their policies and adapt their communications as things evolve will be most successful in guiding their organizations.
In times like these, effective leadership needs to remain sustainable more than ever, and being proactive in these ways will help decrease confusion and increase confidence among your employees and customers. And most importantly, it will keep more people safe and engaged.