Trust and empower, share common goals, make decisions in service of the common good and foster a sense of belonging.
Companies whose leaders display these traits are up to six times more likely to generate more revenue and profit growth as well as total shareholder return, than their competitors.
Adapting to a rapidly changing pace of disruption, making challenging decisions which will have a huge impact for their teams, puts teamwork front and centre, and yet in times of crisis, belief in shared goals, the common good, and belonging will only become more important.
Senior management teams must take time to help maintain a shared sense of purpose and focus, despite the demands on their time.
The aim has to be a common set of goals that any subsequent decisions reinforce. Everyone moving forward together can, ultimately, be the difference between staying focused on what matters or veering off course.
Different ways of working should also be considered.
At WGP, getting our team together regularly, even if only for a few minutes, helps us focus on what matters; client feedback and insight, progress on key projects etc.
These meetings become more important as we begin to have to work from a variety of remote locations.
Foster a sense of belonging
Having to work from home means a lost connection with work colleagues, and that diminished sense of belonging can have a huge impact on productivity.
In the early stages of any crisis, teams want their leaders to be available at the very least. They should try to embody humanity and connection as much as possible, whilst also recognising they are stressed too.
Using video chats with staff each week is a great way to foster belonging, particularly if, after work matters are dealt with, bosses can spend a few minutes to find out how staff members are feeling and if there’s anything troubling them.
Just listening is a wonderful indicator of how empathetic leaders can be at a time when teams and staff need it, and that is rarely forgotten once the crisis is over.
At the present moment, Covid-19 is an unprecedented challenge for everyone. By cultivating that sense of belonging, leaders are helping to weather the current storm while setting their organisations up for continued success when this crisis passes.
Trust and empower
It’s not uncommon during the early phase of any crisis for companies to proactively start to centrally develop strategies to address it—in the case of Covid-19, it was for employees to work from home.
It’s worth noting that staff tend to thrive when given autonomy, and true autonomy signals that there is trust in a relationship.
Understanding that their teams have the capability to succeed and allowing them to do so, is vital during such challenging times.
Make decisions for the common good
Not losing sight of the bigger picture at a time when so many immediate decisions must be made is hugely important too.
What are we learning? What can be applied going forward? What are the few critical things that we can’t lose sight of? What’s the one-month, three-month and six-month trajectory of our results?
Decisions based on self interest and protecting budgets must be avoided.