How leaders can sustain businesses during COVID-19
While a few organizations in India have already restarted operations with a 33% workforce – as permitted by the government - many are still striving to sustain their operations by working remotely. However, despite these relaxations, leaders must ensure that employees don’t burnout due to work overload and maintain work-life balance throughout their nerve-racking routines. But how do they attain this objective?
Let’s look at some of the ways organizations can make the most of this crisis:
People first policy
Several organizations adopted the remote working policy much before the government announced lockdown. This highlights the dedication of a company towards its employees. As a caring leader, one must keep employees and their needs at the forefront. They must set a positive tone and value employees whenever possible. This practice naturally encourages employees to perform better and contribute their best to achieving the organizational goal.
A team leader or manager should not only listen to their employees but also empathize with them when the situation is worse. Leaders need to make sure that teams are not burdened with unrealistic deadlines and are provided with adequate flexibility to manage their tasks without additional hassles. In fact, they should train juniors to adapt to the new world order and show them ways on how to excel during a crisis. This practice can be of great help in mitigating stress levels and boosting employee productivity.
During these vulnerable times when employees are already pressurized with work overload, team leaders must maintain a transparent flow of communication between members. Why? Because the chances of quality work increase and it keeps everyone on the same page. It is, therefore, essential for leaders to avoid miscommunication as one wrong message can create unnecessary chaos.
Work from home, if not streamlined, can take a toll on health. Working continuously with eyes glued to laptop and smartphone screens can result in insomnia and anxiety. In a bid to address this, organizations worldwide have started to host virtual webinars and contests to keep employees engaged in other refreshing activities as well. Participating in tasks other than work helps employees unwind from monotony and motivates them to perform even better.
Many organizations are utilizing lockdown to reskill and upskill employees. There are two ways of doing so. One, by collaborating with top learning platforms that offer a wide array of online courses. Employees can enrol here and start learning. Two, by developing in-house learning modules that may cover live lectures crafted by in-house team members or a series of recorded videos involving top industry leaders. The best part of the latter is flexibility. One can easily have access to these video content capsules and can watch them as per their convenience.
Ensuring safety at workplace
As many organizations open their doors again, they should not forget to ensure compliance with safety measures. Using masks and sanitizers while also maintaining distance between workspaces are paramount than ever. Temperature checks should also continue, every time an employee enters or exits the office premises. Another way of ensuring safety is to follow staggered timings. Allowing employees to work in shifts can minimize the chances of overcrowding. Moreover, they should constantly disinfect common areas such as elevators and encourage employees to use stairs instead. Doing so will not only avoid congestion but will also help them maintain their physical health.
Most importantly, a small piece of advice to professionals at all levels is: leadership is not only at the top but it needs to be defined across the spectrum. Employees should not only stay limited to focusing on their key responsibility areas but should think much beyond that. They should be prepared to face new challenges not with a mindset of receiving financial returns, but with a thought process of learning. Practicing this strategy will not only help professionals master skills in their respective domains but will also hone their leadership abilities and steer them towards the path of success.