The alarm clock isn’t required. My two energetic boys serving that purpose. Barging through the bedroom door at 6.04am.
I wonder if I’m being robbed as I’m abruptly set upon. Then the questions begin. Dad are we home schooling again today? Dad can I watch my iPad? Sound familiar? That’s because my house and your house are both facing similar challenges. Experiencing uncertain times fuelled by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Our business colleagues sharing the very same reality. Working remotely. Children home schooling. Establishing new routines, adjusting to a new normal. Wiping milk from your beloved keyboard. So many households desperately lacking a designated office space, merely a quiet space for that matter. For worker and student.
This raises the question;
How are we serving our teams? Empowering our staff to be a success in this new realm.
Let’s start by modelling trust.
For those leading teams of staff working remotely now is a better time than ever. Bigger opportunity too. The frequency of trusting employees a daily challenge. Not truly knowing staff productivity levels may be somewhat off-putting. Typing an email with a six-year-old at your desk likewise. Therefore, we must continue to be mindful of the challenges many of our employees face. And trust we have hired great staff doing their utmost to perform for our businesses.
Governments are indicating staff may be requested to work remotely for a suggested six months. Concerning as it may seem, this presents an amazing opportunity to show trust with our teams. Recognizing within ourselves the urge to implement products, systems and processes that will diminish this trust opportunity is crucial. Resist, at all costs the temptation to purchase software that micro-manages staff. Resist spending half the day on zoom calls with your teams demanding their time.
Hold your nerve. Back yourself.
Create a short daily huddle with key staff and leaders each day to communicate clear expectations. Then allow great staff to be great. Challenges and all. In a time of great uncertainty we must share our passion, start from what is and not what it should be.
Ask staff what roadblocks they envisage and how you can best serve to remove them.
Sure you may be nervous if you haven’t offered this to your team before. Vulnerable too. Yet this thinking and action will allow your staff to shine. Feel empowered and make better decisions for the business.
Be fully in the now, in the trenches with your staff whilst starting to communicate the way forward. How do we as leaders bring the vision back to the surface.
For those businesses forced to cease trading, a similar approach is paramount.
Show empathy to staff.
Staff must perceive the business to have a far greater emphasis on staff well-being than cost-saving measures or future profits. A staff first approach is also government directive. The welfare of our employees is crucial.
What an opportunity. Chatting daily with members of our teams on how they are feeling, what support structure they have, or don’t have around them at home and the various challenges they face. A re-assuring voice from a trustworthy leader during a time of uncertainty is invaluable. These measures show true empathy. A building block of trust.
We all have a role to play in helping our communities through this pandemic. Self-isolation often a contributing factor for worry, anxiety, depression and domestic violence. A simple phone call to our employees may so often be the simple cure.
Trust your business will not just survive but thrive.
Like the parent trying to home school the best way they know how, leading through these unnavigated waters doesn’t require a map or manual. It is so very different for every business. Servant leadership filled with trust and empathy is however a great place to start.
This pandemic will come to an end. So many lessons realised. There is no certainty in business and life for that matter. It has been a somewhat humbling experience and reminded us to truly value those often not as noticeable in our communities. We are built for relationships. Our families are precious. Oh and ‘we are better together.’
Even if lacking some sleep.