Leading in Chaos
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, companies have been experiencing major shifts in the way they manage their people and their productivity relative to the chaos. When uncertainty and fear are rampant, discussions and focus on productivity and outcomes aren’t naturally top of mind for employees. Studies show that 55 percent of companies fear that a decrease in productivity will be a major downfall during the Covid-19 crisis. However, numbers show that 88 percent have experienced heightened engagement among employees due to the recent resurgence of focus on employee needs. Rather than overstepping employee needs and concerns, companies are focused on what employees need to thrive- and it’s working. Given these circumstances, how should employers continue to engage and nurture employees while increasing productivity, engagement and performance?
1. Options. Companies must decipher what motivates their employees and what personal requirements are necessary for employees to be engaged and have higher levels of productivity. This includes understanding how employees like to work. During this time, many employees no longer have a separation between their place of work and their home- it is one and the same. By providing flexible work options and the infrastructure for a work life balance that is suited for the employees, companies can increase engagement and productivity, even in these uncertain times.
2. Talents. Identify the roles available and what skills and talents are necessary to be successful in them. If there are new skills that need to be acquired, work to fill in the gaps with other complimentary skills and necessary training or resources. Be proactive in identifying blind spots and red zones between what is required of the role and the current talent abilities.
3. Professional Cohesion. Although skill and talents are a requirement for productivity, they are not all that is required to form a winning team. Successful teams must have high levels of trust and synergy to perform at their best. By pairing complementary skills and competencies with high levels of trust, teams can increase productivity and continue working at high performance levels.
4. Social Cohesion. As a cornerstone of building trust, teams must be enabled to connect and bond in the era of “social distancing.” When physically working in an office together, these connections can be easier to create through face to face interaction and recognition. In this time of virtual connection, new strategies and tools must be developed to enable employees to connect and bond in a way that creates social cohesion and deeper trust. In these cases, we would consider these teams to be socially distant, but not emotionally distant.
5. Develop. When a company works to develop their employees, they send the message that they are invested in their people for the long term. In a time of great uncertainty and fear, employees must trust that their employers have their best interest in mind and show some long term stability. Employee growth and development is necessary in any business climate, especially in one as volatile as this.
It is important to remember that “managing” people is an outdated concept of the past. To unlock higher levels of performance, productivity and fulfillment, employees must be treated with value and care. To build a truly successful workforce, employees must rather be enabled, engaged and inspired by leadership. This process takes time and care, but is well worth the payoff.
Sam is the President and founder of CompTeam.
His core focus is leading companies through transformational change by optimizing talent initiatives with reward programs to achieve long-term strategic objectives. Sam’s diverse experience includes the design and optimization of performance-driven variable compensation plans for executive, sales and core employee populations of growing companies. Prior to founding CompTeam, Sam has worked in compensation functions of notable firms such as BlackRock, McKesson and Automatic Data Processing (ADP).
Sam is a global certified compensation consultant (CCP, GRP) with over 15 years of experience in Total Reward Strategies.
If you are looking for more ways to enable, engage and inspire your employees, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further options and steps.