After reopening and closing businesses again we all know, it is not over yet. COVID-19 still has it’s grip on what we do and what we think.
But here comes the relief: It is OK to NOT have clear plans yet. It is hard to plan for the unknown and for uncertain times that we have been in this past year.
So many leaders must withstand the brutal pressure of being afraid to fail in leadership, in providing safety and security for employees, and in being the one source knowing how to proceed.
They may not know it yet, just how the future of work may look. Even after 9 months. And it is OK.
Moving towards new work environments that we don’t yet know – remote, hybrid, onsite – can only happen if we consider these 4 factors for work in progress:
1. Learning Together
We are in this situation together. It is unprecedented. A lot of people have lost their jobs; organizations are trying to figure out how to recover and about to learn that new skills are required to survive in a new world of work.
As for the employees, it is important to flatten the hierarchical structure to gain collaborative access to the giant pool of knowledge within a company. I am emphasizing and strongly recommending changing work practice from control into collaboration if it did not happen yet.
Everything is about working with and not over people’s heads for enhanced loyalty and retention of the company’s most important assets: their workforce. Figure it out and learn together!
2. Changing And Adapting As We Go
As we progress in a fast-paced time of changes, digital divide, new skills and technologies, we have to be able to adapt as quickly as possible.
On top of the already fast-changing work environments, COVID-19 has laid another stone in our way to accelerate the necessity of change.
The global job loss and digital divide create a new urge for retraining individuals for a new orientation to re-enter the workforce. On an organizational level, it becomes inevitable to offer training and support to eliminate divides in technology handling to keep up with the required productivity. Who pays for it though? What is the ROI when everything changes tomorrow again?
So, obviously, there should be a focus on learning, “how to learn,” to support quick adaptation.
Skills development training is a very underestimated power tool.
Coaching services like mine are helping you to get there.
3. Putting Trust In People
One thing ahead – we all have the right to disconnect! If the people you work with are not immediately available, it does not mean that they don’t work.
So often I hear about tools to monitor employees, like how often they log into their computer and how long their sessions are. Not only that this is a way to generate imprecise results, but it is a big invasion of privacy. This is a sure way for companies to lose people’s engagement and loyalty.
The new way in how we work now (mostly from home) requires trust in self-responsible actions and time management. If the results are there, why would you want to change the way people work in their own comfort and within their own schedules? How about offering support and training for efficient time management instead of implementing activity-control?
4. Being An Accountable Partner
Last, but not least, it is on you as a leader to lead by example. If you are not accountable and trustworthy with what you give, you unlikely will get what you are expecting from others.
This is a matter dear to my heart, as accountability is one of my core values.
It is not about that you must have the answers to everything to make people feel safe in planning and advising on how to deal with this strange time; but people want to count on someone who understands, respects, and appreciates them and their concerns.
Don’t promise something you don’t know, or you can’t hold – as no one knows what the future holds in unprecedented times.
But you can offer your support and that you are there. And that you will all be learning together, continuing to adapt as you go and trust each other.
>> How are you adapting to a new normal that you don’t know yet? Let me know.