Did you ever think that we would be having conversations about a pandemic? Was the word “pandemic” used in your workplace before March 2020? Last question. How often was Zoom, Skype, WebEx, or other virtual platform used to conduct work in your business before March?
Certainly, a lot has changed in how we manage our businesses – especially in regard to our employees. For instance, not too long ago I would ask a client if they needed a telecommuting policy in their employee handbook. Predictably most of my clients would decline. Now – there is certainly a greater demand.
Part of the demand can be traced to accountability and trust. Perhaps more is weighted towards accountability, but in conversations I have with clients, trust is also a concern. And guess what – telecommuting is here to stay for many, but not for all!
Returning to Work
When you get your employees back to work – that is, the physical location that all your mail is delivered to – you and your employees will be adjusting to a revised physical layout. Employees may encounter temperature checks, have to wear masks, or get used to physical separators or dividers from each other – or they may get to work from home!
Caution will be exercised by most – perhaps out of (to use an overused but appropriate phrase) – “an abundance of caution.” I expect there will be continued uncertainty and an element of fear that your employees could be exposed, test positive, and have to either stay at home and/or be hospitalized because of the corona virus. And they (and you) will ask – is it their fault? Can we, should we, blame them? After all, you all were practicing what is being recommended by various health authorities.
Leading through the Pandemic
Let us face it – in the next year – at least, your employees, directors, managers, and supervisors will need you to lead them by being supportive and understanding. They will all need you to set the business’ direction and marshal everyone to get on the right bus, in the right seat, going in the right direction – together. It is not going to be a small or easy task, but you know you need to be there for them and for the business.
Manager as Coach
In my experience as a coach – executive, leadership, or management – I find that when uncertainty is replaced with certainty, when fear is replaced with confidence – then employees, directors, managers, and supervisors will feel more significant in their work role and are more productive. That is one reason why I have focused my coaching efforts on developing manager coaches for companies – with increased production and improved services to its customers as results.
Part of the coaching process helps managers to understand what drives them, and helps them to understand that their employees also have motivators. These managers need to tap into that employee drive to help them become more certain and significant.
The Next Step
Now more than ever businesses need their employees to be comfortable returning to work – and business executives need their managers to understand how they can help employees work better in an uncertain environment. It is one of the key components to becoming successful again as a business. I admit it is hard to take these statements of success at face value, so I offer you the opportunity to take a free assessment that will help you understand how a manager coach program in your company will deliver great results.
After all, replacing uncertainty with certainty is the foundation for business success. I look forward to speaking with you, debriefing your assessment, and helping your business become more successful than it was before the pandemic!