Workplace leadership and staff will literally be receiving a shot in the arm. 2021 will be the year where we worry less, get together as teams and family once again and grow our business with confidence. This is fantastic news. Stress levels will decrease, business will be able to operate at full capacity and handshakes/hugs will be return en masse.
As we slowly regroup and learn how to “live” again, our workplace will take time to adjust as well. Thankfully, there are 5 steps you can take to successfully lead employees while assuring them that their health and safety are paramount in your mind.
5 Ways to Grow Workplace Leadership
Remain Employee Focused
Throughout the pandemic, many businesses and organizations were forced to switch focus from customer to employee. This is a good thing! Our people needed our assurances, had concerns professionally and personally and, like you, had their world turned inside out. In 2021, business growth and leadership will benefit greatly by continuing to be employee focused.
Staff will benefit with regular updates and information as we did when March of 2020 showed us our collective new reality. I’m an optimist. Having presented at 30+ virtual events this year I learned from people all over the globe what really mattered to them. Health, safety and regular communications from top leaders was most important. We should continue this trend because our employees deserve it, they want it and your business will benefit from it.
One on ones
These will remain a staple in 2021 as leaders focus on communications with individuals first and team second. This leadership style enables staff to feel important, engaged and promotes stronger connections. This leads to higher productivity and retention. A win-win of sorts.
This will remain essential in 2021. This includes remote work, home schooling and hybrid work environments. This comes from those in top leadership positions and is essential in assisting staff as we continue to navigate a post-pandemic outlook.
The year will be better; however, adjustments professionally and personally will take time. Organizations and businesses that get this will have a distinct advantage in attracting, retaining and motivating staff. Sales will grow along with higher productivity.
We’re Tired, You’re Tired
Perhaps exhausted, spent, toast, checked out as well. The enormity of the pandemic locally, nationally and around the globe is staggering. Leaders have put in extra time; staff have clocked more hours and some folks never learned how to pace themselves when working remotely.
Meetings in 2021 will continue to be virtual and experts are predicting that going back to the workplace full time may take until 2022 and beyond. I encourage leadership to recognize that folks are going to handle the changes that have occurred and will continue to develop as best as they can.
However, we’ll need to be aware that staff need assurances, job security, a virtual pat on the back and even a small gesture for hanging in there. A gift card, a day off, a bonus, a hand-written note – any token of appreciation is positive and often appreciated.
Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy
Make no mistake, my friends 2021 is going to be exciting, challenging and rewarding. However, we’re coming off of a year that was beyond difficult. No matter your age or generation, you felt the blows that came from out of nowhere and changed a lot.
Growing Workplace Leadership Takes Time
Growing workplace leadership will require adjustments and this will take time for everyone. Just as we crawled into a new normal, we’ll have to demonstrate patience, listen to individuals with purpose and focus on the future of our business with renewed optimism.
Back in my introduction, I mentioned health and did so with purpose. At work, leadership will do well to remember that employees have individual and unique stories that are different from yours.
You’ll need to listen, not judge, show empathy, advise when asked (because sometimes folks just need to vent) and show real interest. This takes energy. So, what are you doing to keep in shape? A few less cookies (a struggle for me), going for runs, walks, yoga, weights, bike rides perhaps?
Growing your workplace leadership in 2021 will require us to look at people differently. We’ve been through hell and perhaps lost friends and loved ones. Our individual worlds were turned inside out. Kids, schooling, parents, grandparents, work, lack of social life, canceled plans and more.
Looking to a Brighter Future
Empathy will rule as a key component in creating and maintaining a strong workplace culture. Enthusiasm, when real and not forced, will help employees feel hope. And energy will come from taking care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.
We’re all looking for a brighter future. We’re in this together. And together we will welcome the new year with hope, anticipation and 5 tools to grow our workplace leadership.