Just got off the “Zoomiverse” from countless calls to clients and contacts this morning. Key themes coming out are around keeping staff connected and engaged, motivated and focussed.
What I’ve heard is that younger staff who haven’t experienced a major downturn or calamity, displacement, war or existential threat are really struggling. And in some organisations the “end users” – i.e. front-line staff are not being communicated with enough right now. The term “being treated like mushrooms” is being used a bit. It’s probably because leaders don’t want to ‘throw more s**t onto the pile right now,’ and I get that. But communication is our secret weapon in this fight.
One of the true signs of effective leadership is to know that you can be vulnerable. In fact, it is that very vulnerability that leads to creativity.
Being able to say “I don’t know…” is a real leadership strength and in our experience leads to a very open and honest conversations that brings a whole team along. We also know the power of a collective goes well beyond the sum of its parts. Shared ideas, wisdom and insights from a team most times lead to great ideas and initiatives.
During this time please remember that a vacuum of communication and connection with your people and teams will be a bigger killer than any virus. Vacuums kill confidence. Vacuums beget noise that is not constructive. Vacuums suck the life out of your personal and commercial brand.
So how do you bring atmosphere to the vacuum? I don’t know! I asked around and here are a few ideas that have come about from not knowing:
- Make time to connect right now. Yes, you are busy, but connect right now.
- Create Friday “happy hours from home” to connect with your people over a drink (because no one likes drinking home alone).
- Diarise 2-3 times in the week where all teams can connect online with no agendas – it’s a virtual coffee machine chat.
- Create internal buddy systems for people to support one another. Structure it. Leaving it to be organic won’t work. Structure creates purpose and beats confusion.
- If you are a ‘shy’ leader who really isn’t comfortable in the front line, this is your time to step up, adapt and get out of your own way. Be present, vulnerable and real.
Create the atmosphere.
Seek the innate wisdom from within.