The “new normal” calls for a new form of leadership. Recognize that the last few months have been an abrupt change for everyone. Sudden change can be scary. When you no longer share an office, how do you stay connected with the team and motivate individuals without being able to walk around and interact with each other?
Focus on clarity. With the drastic change in business environment, new and measurable metrics of success will need to be created, shared and agreed upon. Leaders must actively practice empathy and be even more cognizant of individual’s needs and differences, and your team will thrive. Be tolerant and encouraging. After all, we are still all relatively new at this.
Continue coaching and mentoring – both formally and informally. Informal coaching and mentoring could be as simple as a word of encouragement during daily check-ins. Giving a team member a positive reinforcement by saying something as small as, “Yesterday you handled that situation really well” can make a big difference over time. Formal coaching and mentoring should still be a top priority. Set up regular mentoring sessions at least once every two weeks. Recurring mentoring sessions allow you to empower employees by providing constructive feedback and practical advice; and more importantly, allowing them to continue to grow and develop along their career.
Acknowledge difficult times – not just for your business, but for everyone. Demonstrate resilience so your team can follow and stay positive. Lead with both your heart and your head. Be transparent about current realities, even admitting to things you don’t know. Recovery is a process. Keep your end goals in mind and reinforce them often.
Shift from reactive to anticipative – on how to reinvent the team and the organization to seize recovery opportunities. As Winston Churchill once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Take advantage of this by adapting, changing, and learning new ways to lead and build a stronger and more resilient team and organization.