When our work reality bubble is popped overnight by a crisis, it often forces us to be nimble and adjust to change quickly. It’s a tall order.
For organizations and teams that weren’t communicating optimally before WFH took over, these challenges are likely amplified. And they have to be corrected in order to move forward. As a leader, what gaps are you seeing becoming bigger? What decisions have you been avoiding, pre-COVID, that now need to happen? What has to change?
Your communication skills as a leader are under the microscope right now; here are three ways to ensure you don’t lose time to unnecessary team confusion:
1. Ensure role clarity. As organizations scramble to adjust to major market changes, there may be organizational design changes required (ex. new reporting structures). That means everyone in your team, department or company should be aware of the changes and why they occur. Many of us have seen this over the years – leaders make necessary changes to the org chart, but employees are left in the dark as to why; rumours abound. Now is not the time to limit what information you share. People need clarity.
2. Be available. If you’ve ever read an article of mine, you’ll know how much I value having regular, weekly touch points with members of your team. As a leader, it’s all too easy to cancel those meetings to free up “working time.” I would argue, though, that right now your 1:1s are vital for information sharing and trust building. That is what will help galvanize your team and enable them to weather this storm.
3. Remain open. Stay open to ideas and thoughts from the frontline – they see what’s really happening within your business! Seek their input. A crisis isn’t a time for managerial hubris. A leader that truly listens and acknowledges the reality of others may find new ways to push through the barriers.
Stay safe out there,