With whole companies working from home, employees are looking towards their leaders for guidance in different ways than before.
When you think of leadership what first comes to mind? Tenacity to achieve, an innate strive to be better? Or how about someone who is not only business smart, but is clear, concise and meticulously strategic? All these things make a great leader on paper, but would you think of a leader as being someone empathic and focused on mindfulness? Probably not.
Leaders aren’t just C-suite
When we talk about leadership, it is important not to solely focus on the business decision makers. While these individuals are crucial at retaining clients, monitoring overall performance and dictate future planning, it is imperative not to lose oversight of employees who are direct line managers. Why? These individuals are the metaphorical glue that binds the workforce together as the intermediate communication between executives and directors.
Leadership must evolve
With less face-to-face contact time, leaders must consider the way in which they reach out and connect with not only their team, but ultimately their company.
Communication is key. Without the social cues of body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, some messages can become misconstrued. A message that is straight to the point, may come across negatively not by the fault of the sender but how the recipients interprets the message. But why is this? You can read a sentence in a multitude of ways. With poor punctuation in quickly typed emails, or the slight pleasantry as humans we crave, the tone of the message may be misinterpreted.
There are other influencing factors that need to me considered with leadership during the pandemic. Since many individuals have been dealing with external pressures on top of work commitments, their mental wellbeing may be negatively impacted and ultimately encroaching on their work. From isolation of those living alone, who would normally use work as a means to bridge the gap, to the unfortunate loss of loved ones, everybody is under some form of different strain. Therefore, it is important to ensure that as a leader you focus on mental wellbeing during this time.
Ensure you positively enforce your colleagues by including more time to verbally communicate with them. From a catch-up meeting that have nothing to do with work; a mental check in, to organising an end of week round-up you can ensure everyone is not only on the same page, but knows the support is out there. Other simple things such as enforcing a lunch break can ensure that your team is coping.
Recognition is key
Working from home can feel isolating at times, particularly when stress levels are high, and you don’t have an imitate team to bounce off of. Since you can hide behind a screen, it can be difficult for others to see how you are coping. It is during these times of high volumes of work, important to make sure your team feels valued. Recognise work that is done regardless of the gravitas of the job. From a colleague for clearing a client inbox, to building