The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly everything, and business operations like team leadership were no exception. Here are some leadership lessons emerging from the effects of the pandemic.
1. Personal Connections and Compassion
Eyal Gutentag believes it’s important for business and team leaders to recognize that the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 is secondary to the health crisis. According to Eyal Gutentag, the time is ripe for management to begin focusing on compassion, encouragement and human connection with their teams. This is because you need to help your employees feel safe, cared for and like they have support to get back on track before you can work out business or financial issues caused by the pandemic. Your employees are your company’s backbone. Without them and without a strong personal connection with them, your business will have a much harder time returning to pre-COVID functionality.
2. Familiarity with Remote Technology
One of the good things to come out of the pandemic’s effect on businesses is the increased comfortableness employees have developed with using remote business technology. In the opinion of Eyal Gutentag, this is a golden opportunity to continue to improve communications across your organization. You may be able to start virtual coffee breaks where different departments can mingle on a video call or encourage team and department leaders to send out invites to informal virtual Q&A sessions. This way, employees at all levels of your company can become more familiar with each other and can feel more comfortable sharing opinions, feedback and suggestions.
Eyal Gutentag Manager states that it’s important for leaders to remain flexible, even as vaccinations roll out. With more people gaining access to vaccinations, it may be an enticing idea to open the office fully right away, for example, but it can be a much safer bet to stay flexible. Not all of your employees will feel comfortable coming back into the office right away, especially those who are at risk of more severe illness if exposed. Others may simply have found they prefer working remotely to going into the office every day. It may take some trial and error to find the right balance, but according to Eyal Gutentag, it can provide several benefits. It will help your retention and loyalty rates, as well as make you an attractive choice for potential talent. That doesn’t mean you should just let employees do whatever they want, either. Instead, you can take this time to try out certain flexible work options, such as allowing employees to work from home part of the week or taking flexible work hours in order to make appointments more easily. You can also get employees involved in this process. Ask what their preferences are, what they like about working remotely and what they miss about the office.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly all aspects of society irrevocably, and business operations are no different. However, if you use those changes to your advantage and incorporate the new emphases on flexibility, compassion and personal, human connections with your team members, you can become an even better leader than before.