Directing the flow of business during this unique time has certainly proven challenging for a multitude of companies across practically all sectors. Business leaders and employers are now more than ever responsible for maintaining the focus, drive, security and safety of their most valuable and prized asset - their people. Below, we take a brief look into a few ways through which organisations can ensure that their workforce is prioritised as should be.
Reevaluate Priorities & Act Accordingly
Firstly, business leaders must make it a point to set clearly structured priorities and act upon them with the right intensity. These unprecedented times demand effective coping methods, and these can be successfully carried out by putting into force the required approach. Leaders must identify and outline the tasks and responsibilities of their people which are deemed the most important to business continuity. Understanding which functions of the company are most valuable, leaders must discipline themselves in communicating to their workforce which tasks must be handled and how any necessary changes must be dealt with. Communication is key to achieving a consistent workflow across teams, and employees must share an aligned vision to make certain that all players are working towards a common goal in the most effective way possible. This revaluation of tasks and responsibilities plays a critical role in the overall efforts of business continuity during difficult times.
Identity Performance Obstacles & Provide Solutions
It is important for business leaders to consistently monitor the performance of their employees in an attempt to identify any possible performance obstacles which are negatively impacting the productivity rate and overall efficiency of their operations. Especially during times of remote working, leaders should make sure that the right tools are in place for their people to, as much as possible, work consistently. Facilitating meetings through videoconferencing means that internet connections must be adequate and that the right applications must be put to use, with back-ups in case of any technical problems encountered. Leaders should also encourage their people to reach out to them with any personal concerns related to their remote working activities. Some employees with children in the home might prefer to schedule off-hour meetings or allocate certain tasks to different times of the day, if necessary and possible. Leaders must do their best to tune into the needs of their workforce to supply them with the necessary tools and working options to maximise effective work rate. Acting on the right creative solutions to such problems is essential to ensure that any performance barriers are dealt with in the best way possible.
Reassure Your People
Health and safety remains of utmost importance, and employees need to feel that their employers care for their mental and physical wellbeing, even when working remotely. This means that leaders should also offer tools of guidance should their employees need to reach out for more personal matters. Doing so effectively will reinforce the company’s level of trust and strengthen the respect of the employee. A good practice is to first check how the individual is doing when giving them a call. Once making sure that they were getting along just fine and offering any assistance if required, only then proceed to discussing work-related matters. This displays great empathy from the team leader and positions them in a great light for employees to feel comfortable reaching out to them. That being said, leaders are certainly not expected to address any personal or emotional concerns of their employees, however having the right ear to listen, lending a hand when possible, offering emotional support and expressing appreciation are all important qualities a desirable leader possesses.
Leaders must therefore put their people’s mind at rest, making them feel secure about their role at the company, the value they bring to the table and their career future as part of the organisation. The key here is to share information in a manner which is equal parts realistic and optimistic, and this can be achieved by communicating positive messages related to the company’s financial status and outlook as well as any strategies being put into play to face economic struggles. Such messages maintain stability and keep a composed mind-set across the board, and therefore do well to eliminate any doubt or fear.
What is of even greater importance, however, is for leaders to communicate to their people any news which may not be so easy to digest. Such news namely comes in the form of pay-cuts and reduced hours, and leaders should focus on informing their workforce in an uncomplicated and transparent manner, making sure that their people are understanding them at each and every step. Employees must not be left assuming the worst, and so companies should make it a clear priority to keep their people updated with any concerns in this regard. This should be done in a way which displays solidarity and empathy, particularly so should any extra tough news be shared, such as the laying-off of employees for one reason or another, where leaders can go the extra mile to take care of their people by helping to facilitiate a job change for them.
The above are just a few ways through which business leaders can support their people and better direct business continuity under their own merits and influence in the organisation.
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