The current times are uncertain, ambiguous, and also a bit scary. The economy is taking a downturn, people are scared of getting fired from their jobs, and employees are losing direction. It is times like these where the right leadership can make a difference. The future of work, as we all know, may never be the same. Here are some vital leadership principals that can help in a pandemic.
Break through the noise
Unpredictable times like these make people anxious. The information available on COVID-19 is overwhelming, to say the least. People are already experiencing stress, depression, and panic. The worst thing at such a time is a lengthy email from human resources pointing out the several responses of the business towards the emergency. Some studies show that people find it difficult to retain information under stressful circumstances. As a leader, try to break down things to your employees. Stick to three or four vital points and make sure to impart information in batches, so that your employees can grasp and act on things better. This will increase their productivity and cut out unnecessary stress.
With every business forming a unique strategy to overcome the ill-effects of the pandemic, there are bound to be disagreements, confusions, and questions. Changes like work from home, video conferences, and the lack of a proper routine are making many individuals frustrated and agitated. To add to this, having to work through a global crisis can interfere with a person’s peace of mind. An essential leadership quality in these times is to keep your cool and be patient. There may be some resistance on the way, as new policies are implemented, and old patterns are broken. However, keeping a calm front and listening to your colleagues can help your business navigate smoothly.
A crisis always brings with it some ambiguity. There are bound to be rumors, misinformation, and misinterpretation of facts. In a time when most people fear losing their jobs or having their salaries cut in half, it is important to maintain open and honest conversations. Communication is vital in a crisis.
While some people may argue that emotions do not play a role in a business, it may be time to include some compassion after all. We are experiencing something we have never seen before. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but they also require letting go of some things. Pardoning an honest mistake by a team member, or going an extra mile to help an employee will make a lasting impression of your leadership. Small gestures, sympathy, and concern can go a long way.
To sum it up
In the last few weeks, many businesses have had to take drastic measures to safeguard their future. Entire teams and departments have been laid off, while others have experienced delayed salaries and cuts. Working through a pandemic is a harsh reality. This is why leaders need to be patient, honest, compassionate, and above all, attentive to the needs of their employees.