Post COVID-19 Leadership and Culture
Post COVID-19 leadership has made a paradigm shift. Every business is witnessing a change in their organizations’ DNA. For how long – perhaps indefinitely. The pandemic has changed the way we worked in our contained and confined offices. But it’s time to seize it as an opportunity to improve and reposition the organization for the future instead of worrying about decades-old brick-and-mortar office setups.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 2 out of 3 employers say maintaining employee morale during the pandemic has been a challenge, particularly companies with 500 employees or more. So, companies must shift focus to employee morale and corporate culture in the recovery phase of the crisis. (Geller, 2020)
Simultaneously, resilient leadership promotes his, her, their, etc. excellent followership, nurtured, and catalyzed by building deeper trust. These resilient leaders should begin by anticipating what success looks like at the end of recovery, how their businesses will prosper in the long term, and then guide their teams to develop an outcomes-based set of remote working. (Renjen 2020)
Remote/Mobile Working is Here to Stay
PwC’s June survey of US executives and office workers shows that a permanent flexible workweek has broad support. Most office workers i.e., a vast 83%, want to work from home at least one day a week, and half of the employers expect that most of their workers will do so long after COVID-19 is not a concern. (PvC. 2020)
The facts are employees will never go back to things “the way they used to be”. To prevent future health crises, COVID-19 will dictate what office spaces will look like going forward. Fewer people will congregate in small rooms, teams may work rotating shifts, and remote workers will need accountability. Most importantly, we need to identify that humans need connection and feedback. Especially those in a production or service role.
Here are a few crucial steps, businesses can take to navigate through the most difficult times.
Design A Flexible Strategic Plan
Post COVID-19 leadership needs to realize that the recovery won’t be static. There is no final day to knowing when all of this will be over, and we can get back to what we once called ‘normal.’ Business leaders need to define different destinations in anticipation of the severity and impact of any natural or human-made crisis. With that, working backward will help them in creating a more fluid, yet aggressive plan.
Leading research and advisory company, Gartner sees the post-pandemic planning in three phases. Each phase’s duration will vary by the country, industry, and enterprise and even by business unit, product, or service. The phases define what’s happening at each of these stages: respond, recover, and renew.
Streamline Expectations Using the Right Communications Tools
Just because most employees are working-from-home, don’t have unrealistic expectations from them to respond to every email and chat instantaneously. Understand their work and personal time the same way you did when they were working in your office – they will have their lunch, take breaks and sometimes work on other projects without the constant distraction of being on video calls or checking emails.
Leadership roles are changed, and managers need to direct teams by setting metrics and expectations for the new normal. Direct meetings and collaboration and determine how employees should collaborate on projects. For each of these areas, define the basic routines and guidelines and tools that collectively describe your company’s new ways of working and consider changes to individual performance metrics. (PwC, 2020)
It would help to provide your teams with the collaboration tools and rights to access to the data they need to work remotely effectively. However, it’s also essential to monitor and close the security and control gaps in your remote work setup.
Work collaboration apps like Slack, Trello and Asana were built for remote work scenarios with teams. Research a few of them and find one that works. These software applications were made to drown out the white noise that comes with email, text messaging and social media.
Leverage Technology Transformation
The best discoveries happen in times of crisis or need. Technology has been the common denominator for most organizations’ resilience amid the crisis. It has helped drive many cultural shifts – such as people working from home and connecting with colleagues via video-conferencing platforms and collaboration tools. It is one reason why business owners can find them in a unique position to challenge predetermined concepts of what is possible, rendering many traditional ideas irrelevant. (Baldwin, 2020)
Encourage new ways of technology-driven work to drive efficiencies and productivity. It’s also a farsighted approach to invest in research and development innovation hubs. Grow the organization’s ecosystem to include alliances with innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. Automate using technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning now to be future-ready. (Palanee, 2020)
Capitalize New Cultural and Behavior Patterns
Even in business to business environments, we are finding those who turned quickly to technology and collaboration are winning. How we find human resources, source raw materials, transport finished goods is learning from collaboration. What used to be company confidential is now open source bent on being shared. The old business model is gone and replaced with at our fingertip information created to solve problems. Be agile in your sourcing and cross old lines drawn that kept your company or team from real progress.
Optimize the behavioral and cultural shifts happening now and use omnichannel business models to bring you success in places you’ve never thought of before. Stay open-minded and win.
What is Next?
We are all in the same place and it is unpleasant because it is intrusive and has caused upheaval in our nation, schools, families – everything we were comfortable with. We can gnash our teeth or go looking for resources to overcome the beast that COVID-19 became. A big part of it is up to us as individuals. As leaders in the new normal, we must be changemakers and have to be servant leaders. Are you ready for the future of work?
Explore with us the ways to make change happen. We have amazing humans behind technology that understand post COVID-19 leadership opportunities and we can help you make organizational changes that stakeholders will see real return on. Contact TechQuarry: https://www.techhumanit.com/contact-us/
Geller, Jen, and Riley DeLeon. “How Post-pandemic Office Spaces Could Change Corporate Culture.” CNBC. N.p., 18 May 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/18/how-post-pandemic-office-spaces-could-change-corporate-culture.
Renjen, Punit. “Deloitte BrandVoice: The Essence Of Resilient Leadership: Business Recovery From COVID-19.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 May 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/deloitte/2020/05/07/the-essence-of-resilient-leadership-business-recovery-from-covid-19.
Baldwin, Andy. “How to Plan Your Company’s Future during the COVID-19 Crisis.” World Economic Forum. 25 Apr. 2020. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/how-to-plan-company-future-during-pandemic.
Palanee, Sugan D. “How to Leverage Technology Transformation Opportunities Post-COVID-19.” EY. EY, 11 May 2020. https://www.ey.com/en_om/consulting/how-to-leverage-technology-transformation-opportunities-post-covid-19.