How to Lead in Times of Change

/ July 9, 2020 July 9, 2020

We are living in a world of business as unusual, and more than ever, leaders will need to be equipped with skills and techniques to manage effectively. Employees have experienced high levels of stress due to the global health pandemic. As employers prepare for the next normal, 41% of the workforce reports fear of returning to the workplace. Managers will have to lead differently to support both the physical and psychological safety of their employees. Below are a few points leaders must consider during these constantly changing times.

Building self-leadership and resilience is key to preparing to lead differently. Managers are facing some of the same worries and concerns as staff, and in order to effectively respond to staff needs and concerned, managers need to be equipped with skills, tools and techniques to manage their own energy, thoughts, concerns and emotions. To do this, managers must identify their own values and how they impact expectations and interpersonal relationships. Becoming self-aware will help leaders manage their personal identity, as well as build empathy to effectively communicate with employees.

Given the stress, fear and anxiety caused by the global health pandemic and current social conditions, the line between work and life has collapsed. Therefore, many employees are having difficulty separating their personal emotions from their everyday work. It’s important for organizations to equip leaders with the appropriate skills to effectively address issues and navigate the new conversations that may need to be had with employees around emotion. Managers must have the ability to communicate with empathy so that their message is heard and their employees feel understood.

At a time when we’re all experiencing additional challenges to our work environment, strong teams are a crucial part of maintaining motivation and productivity. To create a productive team, it’s important to engage both onsite and remote employees based on their individual needs while also fostering a culture of trust. This may involve adapting expectations based on role or working style. Managers must also define their communication styles in order to stay connected, motivate, and be inclusive of all employees, so that everyone in the workforce is equally represented and their voices are heard.

As we’ve seen in the last several weeks, change is coming at an unprecedented pace and employees are experiencing extreme change fatigue. For the remainder of the year, organizations will be continuously forced to change, making it difficult for their workforce to adjust. As a manager, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of change fatigue and the employees that might get stuck in those phases of change. By understanding common reactions to change and developing a plan to overcome, leaders can help employees stay engaged and productive.

While change is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Well-equipped leaders can help navigate the uncertainty and help employees feel secure in their roles, which creates a more successful organizational culture. For more information about how Exude can help your leadership team in times of change, please fill out the form below.