NextMapping Future of Work Blog

Cheryl Cran

Welcome to the Future of Work blog – this is where you will find posts on all things related to the future of work.

We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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8 Ways Leaders Can Support Their Workers To Thrive In Times of Intense Uncertainty

July 7, 2020

There are 8 ways leaders can support their workers to thrive in times of intense uncertainty.

Recently a client shared that she was struggling with keeping her team members engaged. She also shared that her workers were challenged with staying focused as well as productive.

There is no playbook for successfully dealing with all of the chaos, disruption and change that the pandemic has created.

However we can stay focused on ‘people first’ and we can support people in these tough times.

There are 8 ways leaders can support their workers to thrive in times of intense uncertainty.

  1. Be consistent with having regular one on one meetings with your team members either virtually or social distanced in office. By having an ongoing calendar item of meetings with team members it demonstrates stability and something that team members can ‘rely’ on.
  2. In the one on one meetings focus on the well-being of the team member. Ask “How are you doing both personally and professionally?”. Remind them of the resources that your company has such as taking days off , reaching out to employee assistance or any other resources your company provides for employee well-being. By focusing on worker well-being you as a leader are demonstrating that you care and that you are a trusted resource.
  3. Increase connection if most of the team is working remotely. Many workers are very much missing or have missed the in office camaraderie. Remote teams require leaders to be in touch regularly and visually via Zoom or Skype or other video systems.
  4. Many companies have gone to or are going to a ‘hybrid’ working model. Our clients have been building remote work and in office plans with rotating schedules. The Covid guidelines are to ensure social distancing which means many companies have 50% of the workforce in office and 50% working remotely on a rating basis.
  5. With the shift towards more remote working as the new normal there is an increased need for very clear communication about expectations, goals, reporting and tracking of performance. The leaders that I find are most frustrated right now are those who have not set clear parameters around KPI’s or performance measurement for remote workers. Recently we helped a client to coach her team members on valuing the numbers and the tracking at a higher level than pre-pandemic.
  6. Invest time in coaching, training and development for your workers. Encourage workers to spend part of each day to explore learning and to build skills in areas that they are interested in. Build clear development plans for each worker that gives them a roadmap of skill development to help them grow and learn.
  7. Let go of any limiting beliefs you have as a leader around whether your workers are ‘really’ working. In other words leaders need to ‘trust’ their team members. A client shared during a scheduled coach call with me that she clearly articulated the ‘numbers’ to her team and has told them that as long as they are focused on results she is not attached to ‘how’ they achieve those results. We worked on this together for a few months as she struggled in ‘trusting’ that work was actually getting done. Because she was able to track the numbers she could ‘trust’ the numbers and therefore trust her team members.
  8. When you feel frustrated as a leader or you feel that you are struggling take a look at your own stress levels. Are you resourcing yourself and pacing yourself by taking time for yourself? Are you reacting to team behaviors and/or being triggered easily? Are you getting support/mentorship from your leader? Are you focused on learning more about being a better leader? The best way to support your teams is for you to model self care, to model being grounded and to model being resilient during these intense times.

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