Pandemics present extraordinary challenges for governments, institutions as well as individuals. As such, people in positions of authority need to demonstrate true leadership. During these periods of uncertainty, you will need to maintain your workforce’s safety, health, and well-being while ensuring that business operations are not adversely affected. Achieving this delicate balance will involve developing a solid strategy on how to approach your decisions and actions.
Here are a few tips to help you steer your organization through the tough times:
Remain calm and confident
As a leader, everyone in the organization will be looking up to you for guidance and reassurance. Remaining calm during these difficult times will ensure you make sound decisions and reduce stress among your employees. In addition to being calm, you should inspire confidence that you will guide the company through the tough times while ensuring minimal hurt to the organization and all the stakeholders.
Communicate with transparency
Delivering bad news will often prove a thankless task. You run the risk of demoralizing your employees and business partners. As such, you will need to communicate the reality transparently while keeping in mind what your message means for people. When delivering the message, make sure your audience can understand it and be sure to include a hopeful vision so that people do not give in to despair.
Model healthy work habits
The tough times of a pandemic require that leaders set an example for their teams. In essence, lead from the front by staying up-to-date on all employees’ safety and health and making wellness resources available to your team. As a role model, you will need to define your boundaries in terms of response times and work hours. Lastly, proper leadership will entail providing emotional support to your employees and promoting work-life balance.
Emphasize meaning and culture
To keep the organization going, senior executives should provide employees with a sense of meaning. The economic uncertainties associated with times of a pandemic present an opportunity to reinforce the company’s culture. The top management should ensure that all their actions emphasize the organization’s core values like caring for each other, teamwork, and resilience.
Involve employees in creating a turnaround plan
To successfully guide your organization through the tough times, you should consider making the most of the talents available. Engaging your employees consistently will help boost their morale and encourage them to suggest actionable ideas on helping the company and preparing it for the future. Keeping employees involved will ensure they feel valued and that they have the power to make a difference.
Do not forget to push on performance
During a major downturn occasioned by a pandemic, you should see this as an opportunity to enhance your workforce’s capabilities. Training and development will help employees understand the shifts that may occur in the business environment and the technologies that could make your organization more competitive. Continuous development will go a long way in improving performance both during and after the pandemic.
Preparing for a post-pandemic future
When providing leadership during a pandemic, you should also project and plan your resilience post-pandemic. You will need to assess the pandemic’s impact on your organization and how to mitigate these effects. The next step will be to develop plans for reviving the business, determining how your business culture will change, and preparing each employee to execute the plans.
During a pandemic, leaders should consider building a virtual team to help with daily management and task delegation. Building a virtual team will entail investing in the right technologies to ensure employees can work remotely.
At Intraway, we focus on the physical and emotional well-being of our employees. From the People Experience department, we support the leaders during this challenge.