4 Ways Leaders Can Refocus and Re-Create Their Business Post COVIDJun 09, 2021
In this final article of our seven-part series, I want to focus on how leaders can move forward with greater confidence in charting and visioning the future of their company.
Over the past several weeks, we examined a myriad of topics and recommendations for leaders as the workplace returns to “normal.” First, we looked at self-care as leadership. Leaders need to make sure they are mentally and physically ready to return to the workplace. I encourage all leaders to take note of your mental health, physical health, and emotional health. By identifying where you might need to pause and take a breath, it will allow you to be fully committed and ready to bring employees back into the office.
In 3 Ways Leaders Can Ease the Return to Work, I highlighted that every employee will return to work with a different attitude. Leaders must understand where their team members are mentally and emotionally. They must connect authentically with each team member by sitting down and asking about their employee’s experiences and thoughts about returning to work. These conversations should not just occur once. Smoothing the return to work requires consistent engagement by leaders. One-on-ones, surveys, brown bag lunches, social outings, and other activities help reconnect teams. This helps leaders know if something changes in an employee’s personal life so they can engage early on.
In 5 Ways Leaders Build Team Resiliency Post COVID, I talked about the importance of leading by example, being the calming voice, being a steady leader, deliberate dialog, and building trust with a purposeful connection. All of these attributes benefit the entire company. Bringing your team back into the office requires intentional team-building and emotional considerations. By normalizing the emotional concerns of employees at all levels you reduce the risk of burn-out, increase retention and job satisfaction, and will reap the benefits of increased levels of productivity.
In 3 Steps to Rebuild the Team Post COVID, we looked at how to talk less and listen more, creating time and space for team building, and exercising patience. By recognizing that when your team comes back into the office it will not be the same as before the pandemic will allow you to keep your expectations in check. However, intentionally working to reacclimatize them back into the office will get your business back on track quicker
This past year has been difficult, to say the least. However, leaders can look at this as a time to revitalize, re-imagine and re-create their business. Perhaps the company started to move in a direction that you did not expect. Or maybe the vision in your head was not clearly communicated. How can you re-orient your business azimuth?
Revisit Lessons Learned from the Last Year
First, look at the many lessons—both good and bad—you learned over the past year. How can you use these lessons learned to create the vision you set out? One of the advantages the pandemic provided leaders is the ability to start “a new normal.” Reflect on the last year and think about what worked better for your business, what did not work, and apply those lessons learned to create a better work culture. Maybe you discovered some team members were more efficient while teleworking or fewer meetings created better quality work and more productivity. Take stock of all the good outcomes from the last year and use them to create a more resilient and functional staff.
Do not Focus on Failure, Focus on the Future
Second, move forward. Do not dwell on the past; look to the future. All of your opportunities are about the future and not about the past. This is not to say that you forget everything that happened, but do not get hung up on the “I should have done this…” or “if I had only done that…” Give yourself some grace, after all a pandemic like this only happens once every hundred years! Lean into the future. Take your experiences and apply them to potential future problems. Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently in the future in similar crisis situations? Step out in that direction.
Re-establish the Vision, the Mission, the Values
Next, leaders need to shift their attitudes from a reactive mode to anticipating how to steer the organization back to full performance. (Hopefully) gone are the days of reacting to a new crisis every hour of the day. Leaders should seize this opportunity to re-energize their teams with stability and predictability. Re-establish the vision of the company, re-read the mission statement, emphasize and live out in person the company’s values and philosophies. These known items, which may have been forgotten, will refocus the staff and allow them to return to imagining a successful and less stressful future.
Remember to Celebrate the Milestones
Finally, with so much stress and uncertainty, it is easy to forget to CELEBRATE! Be sure to celebrate all the milestones you, your team, and your company achieved. Reward and recognize your employees who stepped up, achieved goals, and completed tasks despite the challenges. Remark on how the staff faced a global pandemic and came out stronger because of it.
Now more than ever is the time to re-focus your business model and vision. This year has not been easy, but neither was the decision to start a business in the first place. You’ve already done the hard part—taking that first step. Take the time to reassess and realign in any areas where your business might have gone off the rails. Once you are back on track, moving in the right direction, the wounds of 2020 will begin to fade sooner than you realize.
Jenny DuFresne is the CEO, Leaders Transform. Our mission is to develop leaders who grow, inspire, and evolve people, culture, and impact. Our team supports executive and mid-level leaders with executive coaching, leader, team, and culture development in mid-market companies. Learn more at www.LeadersTransform.com
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