Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a group of villagers found themselves facing an unprecedented challenge. A virus so contagious and villainous had invaded their homeland, and they were forced to adapt to new ways of keeping their village alive. They were no longer allowed to do anything together. They had to keep their faces covered. They had to distance themselves from the people they loved. It was a difficult time, but eventually, the virus was defeated (well, mostly) and they persevered.
It’s been almost three years since the pandemic wreaked havoc on our lives, but hey, we made it! As the world transitions from the aftermath of COVID-19, from on-site to virtual and now hybrid, organisations are confronted with fresh obstacles, new opportunities and possibilities. As Managers, it is your responsibility to navigate your team through this transitional period and guide them towards success.
So, do gather round, and let us take you through a list of the top five (5) things managers should consider doing post-COVID.
#1 Clarify and Reinforce Vision
Yes, even if you have a team that has been with you since Day 1, it is important to revisit, reinforce and clarify the company’s vision. The pandemic has brought significant changes to the way businesses operate (with remote/hybrid working becoming the norm), and it’s more important than ever for leaders to have a clear vision of where their organization is headed and to communicate that vision effectively to their team members. After all, the “Why” may not have changed, but the “How” definitely will.
Reinforcement of the vision regularly can help employees stay motivated, engaged and on track as they work towards achieving the organization’s goals.
#2 Establish Updated Processes
Having the mindset for operational excellence is crucial – All managers are aware of it. Imagine you’re a sea captain navigating through treacherous waters. You need to make quick decisions, keep your crew motivated, and stay ahead of other ships. If you don’t have a clear set of rules and processes in place – CHAOS!
As your organization adapts to the new realities of post-COVID, having a well-established process can help the team to navigate through the changes more efficiently and effectively.
Now that we have survived the pandemic, managers now must think of how to thrive post-COVID. This article published by McKinsey summarizes the four (4) strategic areas that managers should consider to take their business from surviving to thriving.
#3 Understanding Your Team’s Challenges (mentally & socially)
Emotional Intelligence is an attribute that not everyone naturally has, but an incredibly important one especially for those managing a team. According to psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman, it’s essential for managers to have high emotional intelligence to build strong relationships with team members, create a positive work environment, and improve overall team performance.
“Zoom”ing in on your team’s needs is more important now than ever! With remote work, stress, and changes in workload on the rise, managers need to be the Batman to their team’s Robin and provide the necessary support they need to overcome these challenges and save the day!
Click here to read more on Goleman’s “5 Components of Emotional Intelligence”
#4 Take The Extra Effort To Engage With Your Team
With Teams working from different locations, they have the tendency to steer towards a silo working style if managers don’t make an effort to engage with them.
Why does this happen? Physical proximity is a crucial component of group and social cohesion. When your teams are working from home, the engagement and sense of commitment to the team and organisation are easily eroded and it will be easier for people to form an “us vs them” mindset. Feeling unsupported, teams may have no choice but to rely on themselves and their capabilities.
So, managers, dedicate an hour of your time to engage with your team. It would help create a culture of open communication that can help to identify or address any issues or concerns that they may be facing.
*Side note: When managing a team working from different locations, prioritise performance on the outcome rather than working hours. They’ll appreciate it.
#5 Upskill & Reskill
No matter what point you are at in your business, upskilling and reskilling it is a must. We are currently in a phase where the job market is growing and changing at an alarmingly fast pace. Companies are leveraging Artificial Intelligence technologies like ChatGPT and implementing new business models to stay ahead of their competitors. In such a climate, it is important to have your team stay up-to-date with technological advancements or market trends.
So, there you have it! These are the top five (5) things managers should consider post-COVID. Remember, while the pandemic may have thrown us all for a loop, it’s important to adapt and evolve. And let’s be honest- After surviving two years of Zoom calls meetings and remote work, we’re all basically superheroes at this point. Let’s put those superpowers to good use and create a workplace that’s more productive, efficient and fun!