COVID-19 has changed the entire landscape of the American workplace. What we thought we knew and how we did things before is never going to be the same again. That means managers and leaders need to adapt to lead our workforce into the future. Whether you’re in a warehouse, light industrial, or office environment, what can you do today to develop your new leadership traits to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world?
Candor is more than just honesty. It’s honesty paired with integrity. That’s going to be a hallmark of future leadership. Your team, now and in the future, needs to know the full and honest truth about what’s happening. We know things are strange, and some things aren’t going to recover fully from this national crisis. But sweeping those things under the rug can only cause more damage in the long-term. Honesty and integrity will help you share the right message.
Focus on Facts
While this is a very emotional time, we also need to know how to reign in emotions that cause misinformation to be spread. No one benefits from the spread of incorrect information, so be sure to focus on the facts. Once you release that information to your employees, they can use the information to form their own opinions.
Engage with Empathy
Another important aspect of leadership moving forward is empathy. Empathy is a form of emotional intelligence that allows you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that everyone has a very different experience. Introverts may feel more comfortable without the expectation of social interactions. Parents may be experiencing difficulty managing their work and their children’s learning process. Leaders need to be able and willing to read different situations and respond with empathy.
Manage Remote Teams
A hallmark of future management will be the ability to supervise remote teams. For industries that can, remote work is going to stick around for a while. Many employees prefer it, though not all, so it’s up to you to manage them properly for their success. There are a few simple things you can do to improve your remote management skills such as enforcing a results-oriented workplace. Expect your team to complete their work in the timeframe established, but you don’t need to monitor every minute as long as they’re meeting their responsibilities.
We have also learned through this pandemic that things are subject to change. We have started and stopped a few times already and it’s going to continue to happen in waves. A strong manager will be adaptable in these situations and able to continue to lead their employees, get results, and provide the most important information along the way.
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