As organizations are being tested at all levels, leaders are needed now more than ever to navigate uncertainty.
With the spread of COVID-19, organizations are tasked with navigating uncertainty in their business, while shepherding a workforce that has anxieties and questions. The good news is that powerful leadership now can exert a positive force like never before. Here are ways that leadership skills can bolster an organization for today’s new normal.
Lead from the front
An organization’s workforce health, safety and wellbeing must be protected. In times like these, employees will look to leaders for clear guidance and practical steps to navigate this pandemic. Frequent, clear communication is key. Providing ongoing reassurance and sharing medical advice and guidelines from reputable sources is very important to keep teams safe and ensure business continuity. In addition to following the instructions you receive from governments and medical bodies, have your own remote working, tech, travel, meeting and operational policies adapted to this changing environment. A comprehensive list of best practices to maximize safety can be found here.
Be available –– virtually
Leadership needs to remain visible and approachable, and that includes heightening virtual availability if necessary. Many online meeting tools like Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business make it easy for an employee to schedule a brief virtually drop in to ask work questions –– or just to chat. Virtual pop-ins and meetings are important for setting the tone for leadership, especially if the workforce is remote.
Take control through innovation
Even if organizations don’t know exactly what the next week will bring, they can start thinking about changing for the months and years to come. Grit and persistence are some of the traits of an innovative culture, and they are needed to face some of our biggest problems. When we are in uncharted territory, leaders should surround themselves with experts and take time to stay informed of the latest trends, challenges and opportunities facing their organization and how to communicate those needs quickly throughout the workforce.
In these times of uncertainty and turmoil, businesses need to be guided with a steady and reassuring hand, and yet pivot and be agile when the situation demands it.