I heard something the other day, which resonated with me: If 2020 was a movie it would’ve been written by Stephen King. Yep, definitely a solid script for a horror movie!
There is so much happening at the moment, especially in Victoria with the second lockdown, which has caused intense change to many industries. We constantly have to navigate change and look to create our new working conditions. I’ve been working with clients over the past couple of weeks to establish COVID Safe Plans and navigate the constantly changing restrictions around this that needed to be implemented within a short time frame. Additional challenge was engaging dispersed workforces in the process.
The cognitive load of all of this is draining; there is so much to focus on and so much to do. However, there is comfort that leaders can take in a couple of things that haven’t changed and remain a constant.
This is their people and the need for trust.
This is the perfect place for leaders to focus, as it is where you will get the best return for your time investment – without a doubt. So whilst the constant change can tend to take your attention, and understandably so, ensure you have some solid strategies in place to be build and maintain trust and connection with your team.
Focus on clarity
Communicate more even when there is nothing to communicate. It’s nearly impossible to provide certainty as this pandemic keeps evolving and the punches keep getting thrown so focus on being honest and transparent with the team in terms of what is happening and where things are at.
Change is challenging especially when the isolation of working from home and away from teammates is prolonged. Look at ways you can build resilience within the team and encourage the team to be doing that for them too. Leaders can role model what is expected here by doing this by leading by example. Establish what works for you and communicate what you are doing in this space. Enable people to learn from you.
Adjust Your Expectations
This is something I have been encouraging leaders to be doing with their team and understanding that it is ok. Productivity and results still need to be achieved there is no question, but if you are expecting your people to operate at the same level, as they were pre-pandemic or higher then you are being unreasonable. Your team has a lot going on also; some with homeschooling, lack of childcare, the family unit all at home and the list goes on. Have an honest conversation and individually assess what each person’s capabilities are and adjust accordingly. This will not be set in stone but you’ll probably find that some will need a stress release while others can pick up the slack for a while.
These strange times have highlighted the need for us to get back to basics and put our people first. This is not only a health crisis but also a crisis of humanity and we all have a role to play in this and we can make a difference in this space when we focus on our constant.